#1 13 Russian nationals indicted for interfering in US elections by ThirstyMan 16.02.2018 23:37

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A federal grand jury on Friday indicted 13 Russians and three Russian companies for allegedly interfering in the 2016 presidential election, in a case brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller that detailed a sophisticated plot to wage “information warfare” against the U.S.

The Russian nationals are accused of setting a “strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 presidential election.”

The indictment – the first filed against Russian nationals as part of Mueller’s probe – effectively returns focus to the meddling activities out of Russia in the run-up to the 2016 election, following a string of charges relating to the actions of Trump associates.

Further, the DOJ made clear that the indictment does not allege that any of the interference changed the outcome of the presidential race.

“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,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the special counsel probe, said at a Friday press conference.

President Trump reacted to the indictments by seizing on Rosenstein's comment that the election results were not impacted by the Russians' activity.

"Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President," Trump tweeted. "The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong - no collusion!"

The 37-page indictment, signed by Mueller, said the actions detailed by prosecutors date back to 2014.

The defendants are accused of spreading derogatory information about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, denigrating Republican candidates Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio -- and ultimately supporting Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders and then-Republican candidate Donald Trump.

It says the defendants spread derogatory information about various candidates throughout the 2016 campaign and by “early to mid-2016” were supporting Trump’s presidential campaign.

Rosenstein, though, said that after the election, the group worked both to stage rallies in favor of President-elect Trump and in opposition to his election.

Rosenstein on Friday described a sophisticated operation by Russian organization Internet Research Agency. He said the scheme involved setting up hundreds of social media accounts using stolen or fictitious identities to make it appear like the accounts were controlled by individuals in the U.S. He said the defendants posed as politically active Americans and recruited “real Americans” to stage rallies and engage in political activities.

But Rosenstein said those Americans did not know they were communicating with Russians.

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Democrats on Capitol Hill, though, reacted by continuing to suggest that people associated with Trump or his campaign could have been involved in Russia's meddling.

“It is imperative that the Special Counsel investigation be allowed to continue to follow the facts on the Trump-Russia scandal, unhindered by the White House or Republicans in Congress,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said. “The American people deserve to know the full extent of Russia’s interference in our election and the involvement of Trump officials.”

But in a statement released by the White House, Trump said “We cannot allow those seeking to sow confusion, discord, and rancor to be successful."

"It’s time we stop the outlandish partisan attacks, wild and false allegations, and far-fetched theories, which only serve to further the agendas of bad actors, like Russia, and do nothing to protect the principles of our institutions," he said. "We must unite as Americans to protect the integrity of our democracy and our elections.”

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According to the indictment, the specialists were instructed to post content online that criticized “Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump – we support them)."

It said they used pro-Trump, anti-Clinton hashtags online like “#Trump2016,” “#TrumpTrain,” “#MAGA,” “#IWontProtectHillary,” and “Hillary4Prison.”

It says the defendants, around the latter half of 2016, encouraged minority groups in the United States not to vote in the election or vote for a third party candidate. An Instagram account they controlled called “Woke Blacks” posted a message on Oct. 16, 2016 that read: “We cannot resort to the lesser of two devils. Then we’d surely be better off without voting AT ALL.”

The special counsel’s office also said Friday that an American, Richard Pinedo, 28, of Santa Paula, Calif., pleaded guilty Feb. 12 to identity fraud as part of its investigation. A filing from prosecutors said Pinedo sold bank account numbers over the internet.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/02/...-elections.html

#2 RE: 13 Russian nationals indicted for interfering in US elections by ThirstyMan 16.02.2018 23:39

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Another look at the same story...

Special counsel Robert Mueller indicts Russian bot farm for election meddling
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"The indictment names the Internet Research Agency, a bot farm and disinformation operation based out of St. Petersburg, as one of the sources of the fake accounts meant to create divisions in American society. Those accounts were active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and the indictment brings up specific examples from the internal review results that these tech companies handed over to Congress."

Congress has taken an active interest in these ads and the companies that facilitated their dissemination, calling the heads of Facebook, Google and Twitter to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee last October. The House and Senate Intelligence committees, both conducting their own parallel investigations into election interference, investigated the content of these fake accounts and the circumstances that led to their spread.

Mueller is spearheading the far-reaching ongoing investigation into meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. While these early charges are targeted at Russian nationals, Mueller has also taken an active interest in former members of the Trump campaign, including former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who stands accused of money laundering.

The new indictments center around the allegation that those named violated laws that forbid foreign entities from contributing money to influence U.S. federal elections. The Russians face multiple charges, including one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud and six counts of aggravated identity theft.

https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/16/muelle...-agency-russia/

#3 RE: 13 Russian nationals indicted for interfering in US elections by ThirstyMan 16.02.2018 23:49

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Here's another look at the same "interference" story done by a different person.... Remember this?

Obama admin. sent taxpayer money [$350 K] to campaign to oust Netanyahu

By Stephen Dinan - The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The State Department paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayers grants to an Israeli group that used the money to build a campaign to oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in last year’s Israeli parliamentary elections, a congressional investigation concluded Tuesday.

Some $350,000 was sent to OneVoice, ostensibly to support the group’s efforts to back Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement negotiations. But OneVoice used the money to build a voter database, train activists and hire a political consulting firm with ties to President Obama’s campaign — all of which set the stage for an anti-Netanyahu campaign, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations said in a bipartisan staff report.

In one stunning finding, the subcommittee said OneVoice even told the State Department’s top diplomat in Jerusalem of its plans in an email, but the official, Consul General Michael Ratney, claims never to have seen them.

He said he regularly deleted emails with large attachments — a striking violation of open-records laws for a department already reeling from former Secretary Hillary Clinton’s handling of official government records.

Mr. Netanyahu survived the election, and the U.S. spending was not deemed illegal because the State Department never put any conditions on the money. Investigators also said OneVoice didn’t turn explicitly political until days after the grant period ended.

“The State Department ignored warnings signs and funded a politically active group in a politically sensitive environment with inadequate safeguards,” said Sen. Rob Portman, chairman of the investigative subcommittee. “It is completely unacceptable that U.S. taxpayer dollars were used to build a political campaign infrastructure that was deployed — immediately after the grant ended — against the leader of our closest ally in the Middle East. American resources should be used to help our allies in the region, not undermine them.”

Sen. Claire McCaskill, the ranking Democrat on the subcommittee, said the Obama administration followed the law.

But she said their investigation exposed “deficiencies” in the State Department’s policies.

OneVoice had been politically active in Israel’s 2013 elections, which should have been a red flag to U.S. officials to put strict controls on how American taxpayers’ money was spent, the investigation said.

While it wouldn’t have necessarily disqualified the group, the State Department should have written a specific prohibition against using American money to influence a foreign election, the subcommittee said.

It’s part of a pattern of bad behavior at the State Department. The Government Accountability Office reviewed more than five dozen department grants and found officials cut corners and missed red flags in 80 percent of them.

The Israeli Embassy didn’t respond to a request for comment on the findings.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said they had not had time to go through the report and he couldn’t comment on it. He also didn’t comment on Mr. Ratney’s practice of deleting official records.

The Senate investigation found that the State Department funded two sister groups — OneVoice Israel and OneVoice Palestine — to hire a U.S. political consulting firm, recruit volunteers, build a social media network and run advertising.

But it was also building its anti-Netanyahu political strategy, at a time when the Israeli leader was quite controversial in U.S. politics, celebrated by Republicans but feuding with the Obama White House over differences in policy.

OneVoice told at least two State Department officials of its political plans, even as it was collecting taxpayer money. But the department “took no action in response,” the subcommittee concluded.

Mr. Ratney, one of the two officials, said he remembered getting an email from OneVoice, but didn’t recall seeing the attached file detailing the group’s political strategy.

The State Department was unable to recover the email, but investigators got it from OneVoice.

Mr. Ratney later told investigators he regularly deleted emails with attachments “in order to maintain my inbox under the storage limit.” He told investigators he “did not know [he] was required to archive routine emails.”

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/201...oust-netanyahu/

#4 RE: 13 Russian nationals indicted for interfering in US elections by ThirstyMan 17.02.2018 11:25

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Here's another angle on the same story....

Obama’s Secretary of State John Kerry Approved U.S. Travel VISAs for Russian Operatives Indicted by Mueller for Election Tampering


But I thought Donald Trump was the one who colluded with Russians?

However, the same names keep popping up of government officials who apparently did help the Russians and none of them look anything like Trump’s name.

Barack Obama

Hillary Clinton.

John Kerry.

Loretta Lynch.

And the list goes on and on and on.

But Robert Mueller’s big Russian indictment today confirms John Kerry’s State Department approved VISAs for two of the alleged Russian operatives.

https://truepundit.com/obamas-secretary-...tion-tampering/

#5 RE: 13 Russian nationals indicted for interfering in US elections by algernonpj 17.02.2018 12:13

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Pathetic ... Mueller has been wasting tax payer money on Kabuki theater. How about he turns his attention to the particulars of the creation and use of the 'pee pee dossier' ?

#6 RE: 13 Russian nationals indicted for interfering in US elections by Cincinnatus 17.02.2018 16:25

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the 'pee pee dossier' ?

#7 RE: 13 Russian nationals indicted for interfering in US elections by algernonpj 17.02.2018 16:40

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Quote: Cincinnatus wrote in post #6
the 'pee pee dossier' ?




Also known as the 'golden showers dossier', i.e. the work of fiction paid for by Clinton and the DNC, and used by the FBI to get FISA warrants to investigate Trump's 'collusion' with Russia.

#8 RE: 13 Russian nationals indicted for interfering in US elections[ --- Further Elaboration --- TM] by ThirstyMan 27.02.2018 19:59

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Quote: ThirstyMan wrote in post #3
Here's another look at the same "interference" story done by a different person.... Remember this?

Obama admin. sent taxpayer money [$350 K] to campaign to oust Netanyahu

By Stephen Dinan - The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The State Department paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayers grants to an Israeli group that used the money to build a campaign to oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in last year’s Israeli parliamentary elections, a congressional investigation concluded Tuesday.

Some $350,000 was sent to OneVoice, ostensibly to support the group’s efforts to back Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement negotiations. But OneVoice used the money to build a voter database, train activists and hire a political consulting firm with ties to President Obama’s campaign — all of which set the stage for an anti-Netanyahu campaign, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations said in a bipartisan staff report.

In one stunning finding, the subcommittee said OneVoice even told the State Department’s top diplomat in Jerusalem of its plans in an email, but the official, Consul General Michael Ratney, claims never to have seen them.

He said he regularly deleted emails with large attachments — a striking violation of open-records laws for a department already reeling from former Secretary Hillary Clinton’s handling of official government records.

Mr. Netanyahu survived the election, and the U.S. spending was not deemed illegal.
snip
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/201...oust-netanyahu/

**********************************
Further Elaboration....

The CIA, Obama, and Soros vs. Democracy

by Paul Jacob, Feb 25, 2018

Is American foreign policy so foreign to our values that those who have served at the very pinnacle of the national intelligence agencies have trouble telling the truth?

“Have we ever tried to meddle in other countries’ elections?” Laura Ingraham, host of Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle, asked James Woolsey, director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from 1993 to 1995, during President Clinton’s first term.

Is American foreign policy so foreign to our values that those who have served at the very pinnacle of the national intelligence agencies have trouble telling the truth?

“Have we ever tried to meddle in other countries’ elections?” Laura Ingraham, host of Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle, asked James Woolsey, director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from 1993 to 1995, during President Clinton’s first term.

I think I hear my cameraman laughing.

Foreign Policy magazine tells us that documents declassified in 2017 “shed light on the Central Intelligence Agency’s central role in the 1953 coup that brought down [elected] Iranian Prime Minister Muhammad Mossadegh, fueling a surge of nationalism which culminated in the 1979 Iranian Revolution and poisoning U.S.-Iran relations into the 21st century.”

It was hardly an aberration. The following year, the CIA covertly bombed Guatemala City and deposed that country’s elected president. In the 1964 Chile election, declassified documents show the U.S. gave “large sums” of money to the winning candidate. The CIA admits to planting both true and false stories into Nicaraguan newspapers in 1990.

“We’ve been doing this kind of thing since the C.I.A. was created in 1947,” explained Loch Johnson, dubbed the dean of American intelligence scholars. “We’ve used posters, pamphlets, mailers, banners — you name it. We’ve planted false information in foreign newspapers. We’ve used what the British call ‘King George’s cavalry’: suitcases of cash.”

The U.S. government could not stop itself from interfering in the 1996 Russian election on behalf of then-President Boris Yeltsin. The New York Times carried an illuminating exchange regarding the thinking, or lack thereof, behind our meddling: “Thomas Carothers, a scholar at the Carnegie Institute for International Peace, recalls arguing with a State Department official who told him at the time, ‘Yeltsin is democracy in Russia,’ to which Mr. Carothers said he replied, ‘That’s not what democracy means.’”

Need more? Dov Levin, a Post Doctoral Fellow at Carnegie-Mellon University’s Institute for Politics and Strategy, has compiled a handy database that lists undemocratic and illegal shenanigans going on and on through the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, up through President Obama to today.

Just how high and low does this go? Well, American Spectator credits WorldNetDaily’s Jerome Corsi with documenting that Barack Obama got in on the game early. Yes, even before he was president, “Obama, as a U.S. Senator, illegally used a taxpayer-financed trip to campaign for far-left presidential candidate Raila Odinga in Kenya’s 2006 elections.”

“By 2010,” according to the Spectator story, “this tribal connection resulted in President Obama quietly transferring millions of U.S. tax dollars to Odinga’s government, including $2 million to convince Kenyan voters to vote for a new constitution.”

This time last year, Judicial Watch was finally able to obtain documents in a lawsuit, which showed that since 2012 “the U.S. government has quietly spent millions of taxpayer dollars to destabilize the democratically elected, center-right government in Macedonia by colluding with leftwing, billionaire philanthropist George Soros.”

snip

“Meddling in other’s elections is a violation of international law,” Steve Baldwin wrote recently in The American Spectator. “More importantly, U.S. law prohibits the use of tax dollars to influence foreign elections.”

In an article last December, the New York Times noted the obvious and ongoing media fail of which they are a large part: “This broader history of election meddling has largely been missing from the flood of reporting on the Russian intervention . . .”

As American citizens we have every right to complain about Russian government interference in our elections, but our own government’s interference in other nation’s elections, including Russia’s, undermines our moral high ground.

To say the least.

https://townhall.com/columnists/pauljaco...ocracy-n2453889

#9 RE: 13 Russian nationals indicted for interfering in US elections[ --- Further Elaboration --- TM] by algernonpj 28.02.2018 11:26

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@ThirstyMan

but only with the 'best of intentions'

Ex-CIA director: US meddles in foreign elections for a 'very good cause'
By Alicia Cohn - 02/17/18 11:36 AM EST

"When asked whether the U.S. interferes in other countries’ elections, James Woolsey said, “Well, only for a very good cause in the interests of democracy."

“Oh, probably, but it was for the good of the system in order to avoid communists taking over,” he told Laura Ingraham on her Fox News show on Friday night.

Woolsey served as CIA director under former President Clinton. "

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-r...ions-for-a-good


#10 RE: 13 Russian nationals indicted for interfering in US elections[ --- Further Elaboration --- TM] by algernonpj 28.02.2018 11:36

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It seems that now the CIA has applied its expertise domestically.

#11 RE: 13 Russian nationals indicted for interfering in US elections[ --- Further Elaboration --- TM] by ThirstyMan 28.02.2018 16:30

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Quote: algernonpj wrote in post #10
It seems that now the CIA has applied its expertise domestically.



Just a bit of hypocrisy and a scary blind spot on the topic of interference.

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