The indictment just released from the Mueller investigation, against 13 Russian individuals and 3 Russian organizations, lays out what we have been hearing bits and pieces of for some time, but it’s in a legally rigorous form, presumably with what Mueller’s team thinks is enough to convict. Those named conspired to interfere in the presidential election of 2016.
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter were particularly used. The Twitter account “Tennessee GOP,” @Ten_GOP, long suspected by Twitterati of being a Russian front, is specifically called out. Topics focused on were immigration, Black Lives Matter, and religion. The organizations used stolen US identities. And OMG so much more!
I have stuff happening IRL this afternoon and so can’t do a detailed rundown. I’ll be around a little while for the discussion. I’m sure Adam will have more to say later, as will I. Read the indictment. It’s easy to read, and amazing.
In the overall scheme of things, this is a first step for Mueller. His remit is to “investigate any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald J. Trump.” He has now established that the Russian government interfered in the election. The indictment also says that individuals associated with the campaign were involved with the Russians. The indictment, and Deputy AG Ron Rosenstein, are very careful to say that those individuals were not knowingly involved with Russians. But there clearly will be more to come.
This helps to inoculate Mueller and Rosenstein against firing.
My thread from October. Points for today include:
1. Indicting Russians makes it harder to (ever) fire Mueller or shut down his investigation.
2. Indictment of Russians also undercuts Trump's ability to pardon his way out of this. Politically hard to pardon Russians…. https://t.co/5nOjC3ssGl
— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) February 16, 2018
Trump was briefed on the indictment before it was released. Perhaps they also confiscated his iPhone. If not, there should be some interesting tweets.