Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Friday, February 16th, 2018.


New Indictments from Mueller

Trump Maladministration

While we were mourning the deaths in Florida, the Bob Mueller investigation has continued. So far we don’t know if anything the Russians did had any effect, and there’s no new word about hacking. But there’s no question the Russians were doing something. Here is some Hot news :

A federal grand jury has indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities for alleged interference in the 2016 presidential elections, during which they boosted the candidacy of Donald Trump, special counsel Robert Mueller‘s office said Friday.

The indictment says that a Russian organization called the Internet Research Agency sought to wage “information warfare” against the United States by using fictitious American personas and social media platforms and other Internet-based media.

The Russians posed as Americans to troll social media, buy advertising and hold rallies. Some of the Russians posed as Black Lives Matter. They also promoted Jill Stein. You do remember Stein.

One of the defendants is  Yevgeniy Prigozhin, who is profiled in the New York Times:

Despite his humble, troubled youth, Mr. Prigozhin became one of Russia’s richest men, joining a charmed circle whose members often share one particular attribute: their proximity to President Vladimir V. Putin. The small club of loyalists who gain Mr. Putin’s trust often feast, as Mr. Prigozhin has, on enormous state contracts. In return, they are expected to provide other, darker services to the Kremlin as needed.

On Friday, Mr. Prigozhin was one of 13 Russians indicted by the United States special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, for interfering in the American election.

According to the indictment, Mr. Prigozhin, 56, controlled the entity that financed the troll factory, known as the Internet Research Agency. He has denied involvement.

I understand there’s no indication in the indictments that any U.S. person knew what was going on. However,

In August 2016, Russian operatives communicated with Trump campaign staff in Florida through their “@donaldtrump.com” email addresses to coordinate a series of pro-Trump rallies in the state, according to Mueller, and then bought advertisements on social media to promote the events.

Also, too,

Former Trump campaign adviser Rick Gates is finalizing a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller’s office, indicating he’s poised to cooperate in the investigation, according to sources familiar with the case.

Gates has already spoken to Mueller’s team about his case and has been in plea negotiations for about a month. He’s had what criminal lawyers call a “Queen for a Day” interview, in which a defendant answers any questions from the prosecutors’ team, including about his own case and other potential criminal activity he witnessed.
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