Justice Dept. charges Russian woman with interference in Midterm elections

Justice Dept. charges Russian woman with interference in Midterm elections

The two companies were among three entities and 13 Russians who were accused of meddling votes to favour of US President Donald Trump and oust his opponent, Hilary Clinton.

The Justice Department has separately been assessing how it should respond to foreign influence operations in US elections, and this summer, issued a lengthy report on the topic.

A Russian woman named Elena Khusyaynova was charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States Friday by the Justice Department as she stands accused of working to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections.

The money served to pay for IRA activists, social media advertising, registering domain names and buying proxy servers, all needed for the group's influence operations.

The Justice Department unsealed the latest criminal complaint soon after United States intelligence agencies, in a rare public statement, asserted that Russia, China, Iran and other countries were engaged in continuous efforts to influence American policy and voters in the upcoming congressional elections and beyond.

USA intelligence officials say they're concerned about "ongoing campaigns" by Russia, China, Iran and other countries to undermine confidence in American democracy.

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The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Justice Department, FBI and Department of Homeland Security said they do not have any evidence that anyone went far enough to prevent voting or change vote counts.

The indictment against Khusyaynova details her budgeting for Project Lakhta month by month for the first six months of 2018, a total of more than 650 million rubles, or $10 million, details that suggested U.S. investigators have gained detailed inside knowledge of the IRA's operations.

It is believed to be the first federal case alleging Russian interference in this year's election. US officials have warned repeatedly about foreign attempts to influence the 2018 Midterms. They used social media platforms to create thousands of social media and email accounts that appeared to be operated by US persons, and used them to create and amplify divisive social and political content targeting USA audiences.

Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin gestures at the Konstantin palace outside St. Petersburg, Russia, on August 9, 2016.

Trump, who at a news conference in Helsinki in July with Putin cast doubt on his own intelligence agencies' findings that Russian Federation had meddled with the 2016 election, dismissed the latest charge against Russian Federation as unrelated to him. The company's US lawyer, Eric Dubelier of Reed Smith, won a significant legal point this week when the presiding judge ordered Mueller's prosecutors to justify the charges they'd brought against Concord. The Justice Department's recent report, though, noted that "public exposure and attribution of foreign influence operations can be an important means of countering the threat and rendering those operations less effective".

The ODNI and hand-selected representatives from numerous same agencies accused RT and Sputnik of seeking to sow radical discontent in January 2017.

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