Robert Mueller
In this March 12, 2013, file photo, then-FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

The Justice Department on Friday announced indictments of 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities on charges related to the Kremlin’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

A major goal of the operation was to help Donald Trump get elected and disparage Hillary Clinton, the 37-page indictment stated.

“From in or around 2014 to the present, Defendants knowingly and intentionally conspired with each other (and with persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury) to defraud the United States by impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of the government through fraud and deceit for the purpose of interfering with the U.S. political and electoral processes, including the presidential election of 2016,” the indictment read.

Prosecutors said the defendants posed as Americans with fake and stolen identities, creating social media accounts to “reach significant number of Americans for purposes of interfering with the U.S. political system, including the presidential election of 2016.”

The indictment charges all of the defendants with conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Three of them were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, and five with aggravated identity theft.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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