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Mueller Charges 13 Russians With Interfering in the 2016 Presidential Election

"Yet another shoe has dropped with today's indictments of 13 Russian nationals, and any claims that the Russia investigation is a hoax are now clearly revealed as attempts to deflect from the story behind the curtain."

Robert Mueller III has warned the White House that he is seeking to interview members of President Donald Trump's inner circle as part of the FBI's investigation into the administration and campaign's interactions with Russian operatives. (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office on Friday announced federal indictments (pdf) against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities—including a state-supported "troll farm"—for conspiring to interfere "with the U.S. political and electoral processes, including the presidential election of 2016."

"Some defendants, posing as U.S. persons and without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities," the 37-page indictment reads. "Defendants made various expenditures to carry out those activities, including buying political advertisements on social media in the names of U.S. persons and entities."

The indictments are being characterized as one of the most significant moments of Mueller's Russia probe, which has thus far elicited charges against four Americans who played a role in President Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign.

The Russians named in Mueller's indictment stand accused of deploying a wide variety of tactics in an effort to influence the outcome of the 2016 election in President Donald Trump's favor, including attempting to suppress minority turnout and staging political rallies.

Highlighting Trump's repeated dismissals of the special counsel's investigation as entirely baseless, Public Citizen argued on Twitter that Friday's indictments show that efforts to discredit Mueller's probe as a "hoax" are "attempts to deflect from the story behind the curtain."

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