Courtesy of WaPo:
The Justice Department announced Friday it had charged a Russian woman who prosecutors say conspired to interfere with the 2018 U.S. election, marking the first criminal case that accuses a foreign national of interfering in the upcoming midterms.
Elena Khusyaynova, 44, was charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States. Prosecutors said she managed the finances of “Project Lakhta,” a foreign influence operation they said was designed “to sow discord in the U.S. political system” by pushing arguments and misinformation online about a host of divisive political issues, including immigration, the Confederate flag, gun control and National Football League protests during the national anthem.
The charges against Khusyaynova came just as the Office of the Director of National Intelligence warned that it was concerned about “ongoing campaigns” by Russia, China and Iran to interfere with the upcoming midterm elections and the 2020 race — an ominous message just weeks before voters head to the polls.
Prosecutors said the sophisticated campaign Khusyaynova was a part of “did not exclusively adopt one ideological viewpoint” but instead tried to push incendiary positions on various political controversies on social media platforms. The Russians involved, prosecutors said, created fake personas and spread their divisive messages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The group attempted to sow conflict along racial lines and sometimes advocated positions that directly opposed each other, apparently agnostic to whom they supported as long as it turned Americans against one another, prosecutors said.
According to the reporting, the group did not focus on one ideology over another, and instead just worked on pitting Americans against each other.
For instance, one individual would post material supportive of Robert Mueller, while another would call him a traitor.
They took a similar stance concerning Donald Trump, with one persona suggesting that he deserved the Noble Peace Prize, while another fake personal said he needed to be impeached.
For American democracy to work there has to be at least some compromise and cooperation, the Russian program seems determiend to make that impossible.
And yet Donald Trump still refuses to condemn Vladimir Putin for these actions.