Thirteen Indictments Later


Steven Bishop (11th), Reporter

Thirteen Russians and three Russian backed companies were indicted by the Department of Justice over a variety of reasons but with the central theme of the destabilization of the US election system.

Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, has been overseeing the investigations led by special counsel Robert Mueller after attorney general Jeff Sessions stepped away from the legal proceedings citing a conflict of interest. Russian appointed Mueller in May of last year due to pressure coming from Congress to investigate whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russians to support their own agenda or if they inadvertently were supported by the Russians without their knowledge.

The latter has been largely disproven by reported meetings held between Russian agents and Trump campaign officials.

These new indictments have revealed an all new threat that has been rumoured to be present but not widely acknowledged. The Russians indicted are accused of using social media to sway the positions of American voters by creating fake profiles that stimulated controversial talking points in the American political conscience. The main goal of these Russians as alleged by the Mueller probe was to create discord among American citizens that would eventually lead to large divides that would in turn create a stalemate in government affairs.

It is not know yet if the Russians succeeded with their plot but the evidence of their efforts is easy to find if you were to look deep enough. Facebook and Twitter have reported that they sold add space to Russian backed propaganda firms. They have also stated that a vast amount of fake accounts can only be estimated with the end of the spectrum reporting it to be five-hundred thousand and the high end stating it to be close to ten million.

Nineteen people have been indicted under the Mueller investigation so far with most of the changes coming with this new sweep of accusations. A number of individuals have pleaded guilty and it is uncertain yet if any of the thirteen will. Russia would have to extradite their citizens to the US and that is as unlikely of a scenario as any to take place. The most important knowledge to come away with these charges is that no one is safe from the influence of a foreign power.

That random person you friended on Facebook may not even be a real person. The one twitter account you can´t stop retweeting may be a Russian robot pulling the strings. These indictments have proven that it has become difficult to tell what is real and what is not.