13 Russians indicted for interfering in 2016 US election

ANI | Updated: Feb 17, 2018 01:14 IST

Washington DC [United States], Feb 17 (ANI): United States Special counsel Robert Mueller has indicted 13 Russian nationals for allegedly interfering in the 2016 United States elections.

According to The New York Times, along with the 13 nationals, three Russian organisations were also accused of illegally using social media platforms to influence the Presidential elections of the United States.

"This indictment serves as a reminder that people are not always who they appear to be on the Internet," Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein said at a press briefing announcing the indictments.

"The indictment alleges that the Russian conspirators want to promote discord in the United States and undermine public confidence in democracy," Rosenstein added.

The White House said that U.S. President Donald Trump has been briefed about the indictment.

Earlier this month, President Trump said that the Nunes memo revealed how the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) were used to influence the presidential elections in 2016.

In a series of tweets, he said, "The four-page memo released Friday reports the disturbing fact about how the FBI and FISA appear to have been used to influence the 2016 election and its aftermath....The FBI failed to inform the FISA court that the Clinton campaign had funded the dossier....the FBI became...."

"...a tool of anti-Trump political actors. This is unacceptable in a democracy and ought to alarm anyone who wants the FBI to be a nonpartisan enforcer of the law....The FBI wasn't straight with Congress, as it hid most of these facts from investigators." Wall Street Journal", he continued in another tweet.

Earlier, the President had also claimed total vindication from the memo released and alleged that the FBI misused its surveillance powers during the probe of Russian meddling in the elections.

He also called the investigation "an American disgrace".

The probe grew out of the FBI's Russia investigation after Trump fired FBI director James Comey and Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation.

Russia, however, has denied meddling in the election campaign and Trump has called Mueller's probe a "political witch hunt". (ANI)