DOJ Charges Russian National With Attempting to Interfere in Midterms

Justice Dept. charges Russian woman with interference in Midterm elections

Justice Dept. charges Russian woman with interference in Midterm elections

President Donald Trump, asked about the Russian national charged with attempting to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections Friday, was quick to defend himself and repeat that there was "no collusion" with his campaign.

Concord Management and Concord Catering were among the three entities and 13 Russian individuals who were indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office in February in an alleged criminal and espionage conspiracy to tamper with the 2016 U.S. presidential race, boost Trump and disparage his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. "These activities also may seek to influence voter perceptions and decision-making in the 2018 and 2020 USA elections".

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 even the 2020 race - an ominous warning that comes just weeks before voters head to the polls.

Justice Department's criminal complaint says Elena Khusyaynova worked for the same Russian social media troll farm that was indicted in February by special counsel Robert Mueller; chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge reports from Capitol Hill.

"Prigozhin, who was among those personally charged by Mueller, has been dubbed "[Vladimir] Putin's cook" by Russian media because his catering business has organised banquets for Russia's president and other senior political figures.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said recently that his country has no intention to interfere in the midterm elections in the USA or meddle elsewhere.

"The strategic goal of this alleged conspiracy, which continues to this day, is to sow discord in the USA political system and to undermine faith in our democratic institutions", the US attorney overseeing the case, Zach Terwilliger of the Eastern District of Virginia, said in a statement.

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After another article appeared about Mueller a year ago, members of the troll farm were told to share the article and say that Mueller was a "puppet of the establishment" who had connections to the Democratic Party and "who says things that should either remove him from his position or disband the entire investigation commission".

The two-page statement about foreign influence was issued just weeks before the November 6 elections by the Office of the Department of National Intelligence, the Justice Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security.

The Internet Research Agency "tampered with, altered, or caused a misappropriation of information with the objective or effect of interfering with or undermining election processes and institutions", specifically the 2016 USA presidential race, the Treasury Department said earlier this year.

It said there had not been any evidence that foreign hackers had compromised any election infrastructure such as voter registration databases or voting machines.

China has denied that it is interfering in United States affairs.

So far, they said, state and local officials have been able to prevent access or quickly mitigate these attempts.

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