Russian indictment to combine presidential election does not indicate US citizen involvement

Washington DC
The charges of meddling in the US presidential election charged to 13 Russians, did not mention any indication of US citizen involvement. The indictment also does not conclude whether the Russian action has affected the results of the 2016 presidential election.

"There is no indictment in this indictment that any American citizen is a participant who knows this illegal activity," said US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who represents the Justice Department US in a press conference, as reported AFP Saturday (17/2/2018).

"There is no indictment in the indictment, that the allegations made have affected the outcome of the 2016 election," he added.

The criminal charges for 13 Russians and three Russian companies were released by special prosecutor Robert Mueller led the investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation against alleged collusion between Trump's campaign team and Russia to influence the 2016 election results.

The indictment details Russia's dark operations beginning in 2014 and aims to divide the United States and affect American politics, including the 2016 presidential election. At that time, Trump collided with the Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton.

In the indictment, Mueller suspects starting in mid-2016, the Russian team directed by Yevgeny Prigozhin – a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin – focused on catapulting Trump and bringing down Hillary Clinton in the US presidential election campaign. Prigozhin, referred to as Putin's 'chef', controls Concord Catering, which funded the Internet Research Agency (IRA) that intervened on the US presidential election.

Allegedly, the IRA team from Russia involved hundreds of people who work in turns with a multi-million dollar budget. According to the indictment, a number of Russian team members are disguised as US citizens on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, and post content that affects 'large numbers' of US citizens.

Russian operations are focused on the 'purple state' in the US, which has many 'swing voters' or voters who have yet to make a choice between Republicans and Democrats.

Mentioned in the indictment that this Russian team could communicate with three members of the Trump campaign team, who were not identified. But it was also mentioned that members of the Trump campaign team were 'not aware' of Russia's intervention at the time. They are also called unaware that those who communicate with them are Russians disguised as US citizens.

In spite of all this, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein emphasized that this Mueller-led investigation is still ongoing and has not reached its end.

(nvc / rna)

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Thai activist fled for indictment for insulting King

A student activist said in his writings on Facebook he fled from Thailand after finding out he had been charged with insulting the king for discussing a BBC article about the country's new king.

Lese majeste, or insulting the king, could be sentenced to three to 15 year imprisonment for each incident, and charges against Chanoknan Ruamsap seem to be the first filed this year. The cases of King's humiliation have increased considerably under the military rule that has been in power since 2014. Critics say the law is used to punish political opponents.

Another prominent student activist, Jatupat Boonpattaraksa, was sentenced to 2 years prison for discussing the same article that was published online by the BBC's Thai section of the language.

Chanoknan did not say where he lives now. [gp]