Indicted by Mueller’s special counsel, the supposed founder of Russia's ‘troll factory’ says Americans are ‘impressionable people’
Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election has made its first charges, indicting 13 Russian citizens and three Russian organizations on Friday with conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft.
In other words, a grand jury has charged Russia’s infamous “troll factory” and its top staff and Kremlin-connected sponsor with illegally using social media platforms to “sow discord in the U.S. political system” — mostly by “supporting Donald Trump” and “disparaging Hillary Clinton.”
The actions described in the charges range from elaborate financial transactions and online subterfuge to “troll factory” employees paying an American to stand outside the White House in 2016 with a birthday sign for Evgeny Prigozhin, the alleged owner of Russia’s “Internet Research Agency.”
You can read the full 37-page indictment at the Justice Department’s website. According to the charges, the defendants have conspired since 2014 to violate American laws banning foreigners from spending money to influence U.S. elections.
Responding to the indictments, Prigozhin told the news agency RIA Novosti that he's not upset: “The Americans are very impressionable people — they see what they want to see. I have great respect for them. I'm not at all upset that I've been named on this list. If they want to see a devil, then let them.”