On Friday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told the media that no American was “a knowing participant” in efforts by Russia to meddle in the 2016 election. This was detailed in the indictment of 13 Russians by the Department of Justice on the same day that came about as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.
“On page four of the indictment, paragraph six," on reporter noted, "it specifically talks about the Trump campaign, saying that defendants communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump campaign.” She went on to say, “My question is later in the indictment, campaign officials are referenced not by their name, by campaign official one or two or three. Were campaign officials cooperative or were they duped? What was their relationship with this?”
Responding, Rosenstein said, “There is no allegation in the indictment that any American was a knowing participant in the alleged unlawful activity.” He said, “There is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election.”
The announcement may thus clear the Trump campaign of lingering accusations of collusion with Russia, which President Trump's critics have considered as reason to believe that he won the election because of Russian meddling or collusion.
According to the indictment filed today by Mueller against the 13 Russian nationals, "Some defendants, posing as US persons and without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump campaign …"
Included in the indictments is a charge of “conducting information warfare against the United States” in addtion to conspiracy. "The conspiracy had as its object impairing, destructing, and defeating the lawful governmental functions of the United States by dishonest means," read the indictment, "in order to enable the Defendants to interfere with US political and electoral processes, including the 2016 presidential election."
Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.