Special counsel Robert Mueller has filed conspiracy and fraud charges against thirteen Russian nationals and three organizations. The group is charged with defrauding the United States as part of a campaign to influence the US election.
Twelve of the defendants were allegedly employed by the Internet Research Agency, a “troll farm” funded by the Russian government for disinformation efforts. “Defendants, posing as US persons and creating false US personas, operated social media pages and groups designed to attract US audiences,” the indictment reads. “They engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump.”
Prosecutors seem to have had access to internal communications within the Internet Research Agency. In one instance on September 14, an IRA employee managing the “Secured Borders” Facebook group was criticized for having too few posts criticizing Hillary Clinton. According to the indictment, a supervisor told him “it is imperative to intensify criticizing Hillary Clinton” in future posts.
Not all of the activities were pro-Trump. After the election, the group allegedly used many of its false accounts to “organize and coordinate US political rallies in support of president-elect rump, while simultaneously using other false US Personas to organize and coordinate US political rallies protesting the results of the 2016 presidential election.”