13 Russian nationals were indicted for interfering the 2016 presidential election, though their actions were not quite the conspiracy theory that the Democratic party hoped they would be.
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe uncovered Russian plots to wage “information warfare,” and set a “strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 presidential election.”
The Department of Justice also uncovered that, while the Russians played a role in disrupting the campaign process, they did not in effect sway the outcome of the election. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was quoted as saying, “There is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election.”
Those indicted were accused of holding rallies and spreading derogatory information about a number of candidates throughout pre-election and election process including Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruze, and Marco Rubio.
It was then determined that the meddlers threw their support behind Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump in certain rallies, and then held rallies against the same candidates in an attempt to cause chaos. The same group was also responsible for anti-trump rallies after the election, including a “Trump is not my president” demonstration held on November 12th in New York. On the same day, they then hosted another Pro-Trump rally in the city.
Those indicted gained the trust of the American populace by posing as members of grassroots organizations, and found support through fake social media accounts created to spread derogatory information as well as promote their agenda and find support. Additional charges that have been listed on the indictment against those accused include conspiracy, wire fraud, bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft.
While the Department of Justice is attempting to have the accused brought to trial in the United States with no extradition treaty between the U.S. and Russia in existence, it is unlikely that they will face the charges in the justice system.
While there has been much of the debate about Russian interference in the days leading up to and during the 2016 presidential election, it has been determined that the Russians had begun their information warfare back as early as 2014. The Obama administration had feared growing interference and aggression by Russia, and many politicians felt that the imposed sanctions would have little effect.
This disinformation had continued from before the primaries through the general election, showing that no particular candidates were supported until later on, where they began pushing candidates in each party. Then following the election, they continued to promote the discord through both pro-Trump and Anti-trump rallies and sentiments.
In statements by Rosenstein, he has stated that findings have shown no involvement by any American, and that there was no collusion with a specific candidate to promote a particular outcome. It also appears that many of the followers on social media accounts and supporters that came out for the Russian infiltrators were unknowingly following what they believed were concerned Americans, and were completely unaware that the posters and organizers were from overseas attempting to spread disinformation.
While many of President Donald Trump’s critics have stated that they believed Russia had intentionally interfered with the 2016 presidential election in an effort to push a candidate into a seat of power that they could control or collude with, the findings simply do not support those allegations. The interference by the Russian defendants has been no more than a way to create discord in our country and disrupt our political process in an effort to push the United States into chaos and weaken it from within.
So, while conspiracy theories may continue to abound, it appears as though the Russian interference was no more than a way to create chaos in an already heated and passionate presidential election.
~ Liberty Planet