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By Miriam Raftery

February 16, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – It’s official:  Russia actively worked to sabotage American democracy and put Donald Trump in the White House.

Today, Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller released copies of indictments filed against 13 Russians and three Russian entities on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States and other charges ranging from bank fraud to identity theft in their quest to violate laws that prohibit foreigners from spending money to influence U.S. elections.  Read the full indictment here.

The indictment language is damning, documenting how the Russian organization Internet Research Agency plotted “information warfare against the U.S.” paid for in Russian rubles at a budget of $1.25 million a month. 

Russians posing as Americans used social media to post positive information on Trump and negative information,  much of it false, disparaging other candidates opposing Trump including Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton.  They also organized pro-Trump and anti-Clinton marches and rallies in the U.S.

They were aided by at least 100 U.S. citizens and and communicated with members of the Trump campaign, the indictment makes clear, and funneled illegal contributions into electing Trump.  At least some of those contacts were "unwitting."

The Russian operation began in 2014, shortly after Trump visited Russia for the Miss World competition, and by 2016 and narrowed its focus to blatantly supporting Trump and disparaging his general election rival, Hillary Clinton.

The Russian operatives formed fake organizations to deceive U.S. voters, such as “Army of Jesus,” “Secured Borders” and “Blacktivist,” the indictement states.  They promoted a “March for Trump” and a “Down with Hillary” rallies. They created Twitter tags such as #Hillary4Prison and Facebook groups such as “Trumpsters United,” posting messages on social media such as “We cannot trust Hillary to take care of our veterans.” 

These operatives visited at least eight states including California and were advised by an unnamed American in Texas to focus their efforts on battleground states such as Florida, Colorado and Virginia. They also actively worked to suppress minority turnout, the investigation revealed.

They also destroyed evidence to impede the investigation, the indictment states, and stole identities of Americans to set up false identities and bank accounts to fund their illegal operations.

The indictment papers also reveal that Mueller has cut a deal with one person on identity theft charges, likely to obtain information and testimony against other conspirators.

No Russians have been arrested and those charged may be overseas, but being wanted by the U.S. government will make it difficult for them to travel or conduct international business, the New York Times reports.

The recent indictments add fuel to the Mueller investigation into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.  Previous indictments  and guilty pleas have included Trump campaign and Trump administration officials.

Trump tweeted on the Russian indictments, “My campaign did nothing wrong, no collusion.”


Sure could have

moved this along had he shared his Tax filings instead of this long drawn out grift on the American people. So come on Donnie, put an end to the FBI wasting their time, show us your tax returns and prove your detractors wrong!

Tom Lemon

You are most welcome :-)


Yeah, Susan, that's exactly what Pinocchio, I mean Donald Trump would say and what I predicted what his loyal. blind to the truth minions would react like. Every news station, even my favorite KPBS talk about this in virtually the same format. Shame on you for speaking about Miriam that way! She reports the news in a very unbiased way and has been doing this for a long time creating a stellar reputation. If you abhor Miriam's writing style when it comes to politics, then stop reading articles which obviously upset you. There's plenty more to read in East County Magazine as was suggested. I will stand by my previous comment. President Trump should either be man enough to resign, or be forced to do so. It's become more obvious, as many people suspected, that the election was rife with fraud, therefore the votes (electoral only - by a very slim margin) were swayed toward electing someone who should not be in office. All one needs to do is look at what he's been doing (or not doing) since being in the White House. Then of course the 'dirt' which has been piling up regarding his private life. Yet I'm positive Trumps loyal, blind followers will continue believing he's the greatest, after all, is that not what he boasts about? Trump is everything I mentioned in my first comment, and so much more. Truly a buffoon and a snake oil salesman. Hillary Clinton may not have been the choice of many, but she would have done a better job than Trump. We must quit looking at party affiliation and visualize what a president (or presidential candidate) will do for our country, not vote because he or she is a democrat or republican. That's just plain ignorance. And if said elected official fails to live up to their campaign promises or job they were elected for, then they must go. The American public at large must stand up for themselves and be heard in a constructive, meaningful manner to get positive results. Trump will continue denying everything being directed towards him because that's his nature - a narcissist. BTW I am a non-partisan voter...

A must read for anyone

A must read for anyone interested in this massive, covert propaganda effort.

Massive, covert propaganda effort

Rejoicing in Russian speaking households here in Crimea follows with wails from oppression by the warlords who break Ukraine's heart.


I have noticed in the articles that Miriam Raftery are usually swayed towards anti-Trump but now this is so obviously and wrong. Download the indictment and READ for yourself. There is no mention of "Trump" in it. So Grandfather, you should read it yourself instead of believing what she wrote. This is a spin, she added "and put Trump in office". Notice she doesn't use his title of President, no respect. Shame, shame on you, Miriam!!!! This is the last article I will ever read on East County news. If she lies about thks, what other lies is she printing?!!!!

There are plenty of mentions of Trump's campaign

in the indictment papers that I did read including emails between conspirators and the Trump campaign in Florida for instance.

We regularly do use the President's title in stories but not in this as the opening lead about putting Donald Trump in the White House we felt made his position obvious. No disrespect intended.  I have no idea what "lies" Susan thinks are here -- there are none, and she doesn't cite a single example.  Readers, please use critical thinking skills and avoid making claims that can't be backed up. We do correct errors if we make one, but I haven't had any inaccuracies shown here.

Our story is clearly accurate based on the indictment documents released by the special prosecutor.

Anyone not concerned that the President is being unduly influenced by a foreign party long perceived as an enemy of the U.S. isn't paying enough attention, frankly.  Newsweek today reports that Vice President Penc was hand-picked by Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager who was an ally of Vladimir Putin and had previously worked to disrupt Ukranian elections. New charges were filed yeterday against Manafort who is already accused of failing to register as a foreign agent as well as money laundering and fraud.  How is that NOT a big concern? Trump knew of his Russian loyalties when he brought him on as a volunteer campaign manager -- why wasn't he concerned about his loyalties?

And why did Trump refuse to impose sanctions against Russia that Congress enacted, the Republican controlled Congress, before the deadline? 

Why has Trump regularly defended Vladimir Putin? 

Why is this reader more concerned with whether we used the President's full title than with the very serious evidence documented by the special prosecutor making clear that it can no longer be considered "fake news" to say that the Russians tried to steal the election for Trump, and in fact they succeeded. Would he have been elected without the Russian propaganda masquerading as American groups?  We'll never know, but the election was very close, so it likely was a key factor.




Real news cuts both ways

Susana, I am sorry you disapproved of today's coverage of the Russian indictments on ECM. To view local stories only, you can bookmark "Communities," or, more specifically, your own community page. You can also bookmark festivals and events if you're only interested in those. As for your bias allegation, Miriam covered scandals involving a local Democrat Councilman in El Cajon, and he is as mad as you are, so i would explain to you that real news cuts both ways. To view local news only, please save or bookmark your ECM communities page. I assure you can trust what Miriam writes, even if you don't like her story on today's indictments.


Thanks grandfather.

Less than half the story

The Rosenstein press conference has been conveniently left out

"There's no allegation that any American was knowingly involved in the conspiracy, Rosenstein said. Nor was there an allegation that the efforts of the defendants affected the outcome of the election. The indictment, he told reporters, is a reminder that "people are not always who they appear to be." He said the defendants wanted to undermine confidence in our democracy. "


shame on you for not reporting the WHOLE story

They also organized anti Trump rallies after the election , so obviously ALL who attended are russia agents?

The story was posted before the Rosenstein press conference

was held. It was based on the indictment documents. I can't report what hadn't happened yet.

With more information available, at least some who aided Russians are said to have been "unwitting" in those actions. It's not clear if that's the case with everyone, and reportedly more indictments are pending.

What is clear is that claims that Russia actively worked to influence the election cannot be dismissed as fake news.  There's a lot of documentation that they did exactly that.

Trump's name appears throughout the documents though we don't yet know what if anything he knew personally.

Another interesting late-breaking development is a new charge being brought of bank fraud against Paul Manafort, Trump's campaign manager. Remember Manafort worked for the Russians doing Putin's bidding to disrupt a Ukranian election before he mysteriously decided to volunteer his services free for the Trump campaign. Why did he do that?  Could it be that he was put there by Putin, too? There is a lot more to this scandal that has not yet been made public, based on numerous additional sealed indictments.



Let's see Trump LIE his way out of this one... Anyone want to guess how many Trump supporters will still continue to think he's the greatest president ever, and believe his rhetorical BS? He's done nothing but lie to the American people since the beginning of his campaign, and no doubt well before that. A closet racist, womanizer, liar, cheater, and much more, yet he was blaming Hillary for many things he was secretly doing. Typical narcissist. Deflect eyes from oneself and the wicked deeds, putting the light on another. Smoke & mirrors. Trump should be forced to resign immediately! Before he does more destruction to Americans. His lackey speaker of the house Paul Ryan needs to go as well. He's a behind the scenes agitator wanting to strip all so called "entitlement programs" away from the public. Including social security, funding for housing, food assistance, medical. Doesn't anyone remember the covertly taped conversation he had with some of his cronies? I think we need a good old fashioned house cleaning starting at the top - form the president, to congress and senate, to state and local government. It's a shame to see how "we the people" are so badly treated by the elected officials we helped put in office, and pay for their salaries (adding insult to injury) to mistreat the citizens of the United States! No, my rant is not about the republican party, nor democrat. It's about the mistreatment of the American public by those in power.