Indictment  [PDF]

U.S. Department of Justice

Grand Jury Indicts Thirteen Russian Individuals and Three Russian Companies for Scheme to Interfere in the United States Political System

The Department of Justice announced that a grand jury in the District of Columbia today returned an indictment presented by the Special Counsel’s Office. The indictment charges thirteen Russian nationals and three Russian companies for committing federal crimes while seeking to interfere in the United States political system, including the 2016 Presidential election. The defendants allegedly conducted what they called “information warfare against the United States,” with the stated goal of “spread[ing] distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general.”  

“This indictment serves as a reminder that people are not always who they appear to be on the Internet,” said Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein. “The indictment alleges that the Russian conspirators want to promote discord in the United States and undermine public confidence in democracy. We must not allow them to succeed. The Department of Justice will continue to work cooperatively with other law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and with the Congress, to defend our nation against similar current and future schemes. I want to thank the federal agents and prosecutors working on this case for their exceptional service.”

According to the allegations in the indictment, twelve of the individual defendants worked at various times for Internet Research Agency LLC, a Russian company based in St. Petersburg, Russia. The other individual defendant, Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin, funded the conspiracy through companies known as Concord Management and Consulting LLC, Concord Catering, and many subsidiaries and affiliates. The conspiracy was part of a larger operation called “Project Lakhta.” Project Lakhta included multiple components, some involving domestic audiences within the Russian Federation and others targeting foreign audiences in multiple countries.   

Internet Research Agency allegedly operated through Russian shell companies. It employed hundreds of persons for its online operations, ranging from creators of fictitious personas to technical and administrative support, with an annual budget of millions of dollars. Internet Research Agency was a structured organization headed by a management group and arranged in departments, including graphics, search-engine optimization, information technology, and finance departments. In 2014, the agency established a “translator project” to focus on the U.S. population. In July 2016, more than 80 employees were assigned to the translator project.

Two of the defendants allegedly traveled to the United States in 2014 to collect intelligence for their American political influence operations.

To hide the Russian origin of their activities, the defendants allegedly purchased space on computer servers located within the United States in order to set up a virtual private network. The defendants allegedly used that infrastructure to establish hundreds of accounts on social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, making it appear that the accounts were controlled by persons within the United States. They used stolen or fictitious American identities, fraudulent bank accounts, and false identification documents. The defendants posed as politically and socially active Americans, advocating for and against particular political candidates. They established social media pages and groups to communicate with unwitting Americans. They also purchased political advertisements on social media.  

The Russians also recruited and paid real Americans to engage in political activities, promote political campaigns, and stage political rallies. The defendants and their co-conspirators pretended to be grassroots activists. According to the indictment, the Americans did not know that they were communicating with Russians. 

After the election, the defendants allegedly staged rallies to support the President-elect while simultaneously staging rallies to protest his election. For example, the defendants organized one rally to support the President-elect and another rally to oppose him—both in New York, on the same day.

On September 13, 2017, soon after the news media reported that the Special Counsel’s Office was investigating evidence that Russian operatives had used social media to interfere in the 2016 election, one defendant allegedly wrote, “We had a slight crisis here at work: the FBI busted our activity.... So, I got preoccupied with covering tracks together with my colleagues.”

The indictment includes eight criminal counts. Count One alleges a criminal conspiracy to defraud the United States, by all of the defendants. The defendants allegedly conspired to defraud the United States by impairing the lawful functions of the Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Department of State in administering federal requirements for disclosure of foreign involvement in certain domestic activities. 

Count Two charges conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud by Internet Research Agency and two individual defendants.

Counts Three through Eight charge aggravated identity theft by Internet Research Agency and four individuals.

There is no allegation in the indictment that any American was a knowing participant in the alleged unlawful activity. There is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election. 

Everyone charged with a crime is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in court. At trial, prosecutors must introduce credible evidence that is sufficient to prove each defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, to the unanimous satisfaction of a jury of twelve citizens.

The Special Counsel's investigation is ongoing. There will be no comments from the Special Counsel at this time.

Donald J. Trump‏Verified account
3:18 PM - 16 Feb 2018

Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President. The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong - no collusion!

The White House
February 16, 2018

Statement from the Press Secretary Regarding the Russia Indictments

Earlier today, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced indictments against 13 Russian nationals and 3 Russian entities for meddling in the 2016 Presidential election, which began in 2014 before the President declared his candidacy. President Donald J. Trump has been fully briefed on this matter and is glad to see the Special Counsel’s investigation further indicates—that there was NO COLLUSION between the Trump campaign and Russia and that the outcome of the election was not changed or affected.

President Trump says, “it is more important than ever before to come together as Americans. We cannot allow those seeking to sow confusion, discord, and rancor to be successful. It’s time we stop the outlandish partisan attacks, wild and false allegations, and far-fetched theories, which only serve to further the agendas of bad actors, like Russia, and do nothing to protect the principles of our institutions. We must unite as Americans to protect the integrity of our democracy and our elections.”


Republican National Committee
February 16, 2018

RNC Chairwoman Statement On DOJ Indictments Against Russian Nationals

WASHINGTON – Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel released the following statement after the Justice Department filed indictments against Russian nationals and organizations for meddling in American politics:

"These indictments make it clear that starting in 2014, the Russians launched a sophisticated assault on our elections with the goal of spreading distrust in the core elements of our democracy," said Chairwoman McDaniel. "It also remains crystal clear there was no collusion and the Russians were unsuccessful in their attempts to influence the results of the election. We, however, cannot ignore that Russians targeted our democratic system, candidates from both parties, and the media in an assault that can never be allowed to happen again. These indictments incriminate Russian officials alone and should serve as a rallying cry for Washington and the country to come together to prevent Russia, or any foreign government, from attempting to meddle in future elections."


U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA)
Fri., Feb. 16, 2018

CONTACT:    Rachel Cohen (Warner)


~ On Special Counsel indictment against the Internet Research Agency  ~

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement today after the Special Counsel announced the indictment of 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies for criminally interfering with the 2016 U.S. presidential election:

“The Senate Intelligence Committee, as a part of our bipartisan investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election, has been focused on uncovering and exposing the role that social media disinformation played in that effort.

“I'm glad to see that work vindicated today by the Special Counsel’s indictment of the ‘Internet Research Agency,’ the Russian troll farm that was a key component of Russia’s attempts to interfere in the U.S. elections in 2016, and which continues to spew divisive and false content aimed at undermining the United States. With this indictment, the Special Counsel and his team have taken an important step to hold Russia accountable.

“As we heard this week from the nation’s top intelligence officials, Russia is still using social media to attack our democratic institutions and sow division amongst Americans. In Tuesday’s hearing, I was frustrated to hear that there is still no one leading a coordinated, organized effort within the intelligence community to monitor and combat Russian disinformation campaigns on social media. As Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I will continue pressing the nation’s intelligence leaders and the social media companies to be far more aggressive and proactive in responding to this threat.

“While platforms like Facebook and Twitter are allowing Americans to communicate and share ideas in ways unimaginable just a decade ago, we’re also learning that we each bear some responsibility for exercising good judgment and a healthy amount of skepticism when it comes to the things we read and share on social media.”

Sen. Warner has been a leader in recognizing the challenges posed by Russian use of social media. While companies like Facebook and Twitter initially denied that Russia used their platforms to influence the 2016 election, Warner publicly and privately pressed the companies to conduct thorough internal investigations of Russian misinformation and disinformation. In September, Facebook announced that the Internet Research Agency purchased approximately $100,000 worth of advertisements in connection with the 2016 election. Later estimates from the company found that as many as 150 million Americans may have been exposed to content from the Internet Research Agency. Twitter has also announced that at least 1.4 million people on Twitter engaged with content created by Russian trolls during the 2016 presidential election, and Google has uncovered evidence of Russian ad purchases and other activity on its platforms such as YouTube.

Russian use of misinformation and disinformation was the prime topic of the very first public hearing held by the Senate Intelligence Committee as part of its investigation. On March 30, 2017 – almost one year ago – the Committee held an open hearing on “Disinformation: A Primer in Russian Active Measures and Influence Campaigns.” On November 1, 2017, the Senate Intelligence Committee held a public hearing with the top legal officials from the three companies on “Social Media Influence in the 2016 U.S. Elections.”

In October, Sen. Warner introduced  bipartisan legislation, the Honest Ads Act, to help prevent foreign interference in future elections and improve the transparency of online political advertisements.


Democratic National Committee
February 16, 2016

DNC Chair on Newest DOJ Indictments in Russia Investigation

In response to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s announcement that 13 Russian individuals have been indicted for interfering in our 2016 election, DNC Chair Tom Perez released the following statement:
“It is a cold hard fact that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 election. We know for a fact that they hacked into the Democratic National Committee. We know for a fact that they hacked into voter registration systems across the country and used social media to sow discord and spread disinformation among voters. And we know for a fact that their goal was to help elect Donald Trump. Now, this indictment gives us a chilling look at just how sophisticated, well-funded and wide-ranging this attack on our democracy really was. It should send chills up the spine of every American.
“Yet, President Trump continues to deny these facts.  And Republican in Congress continue to spread falsehoods to tarnish the very investigation that is beginning to hold Russia accountable for its actions in 2016. In fact, just this week, we learned that Trump hasn’t directed his senior intelligence officials to take any action to prevent future Kremlin attacks – which those same officials all agree are inevitable in the 2018 midterms and beyond. If the president won’t uphold the oath he took to protect our nation’s security, he has no place in the Oval Office. And if Republican leaders in Congress can’t put the interests of our democracy before politics, they have no place in Congress.
“This investigation has grave implications for the integrity of our democracy. Donald Trump and his Republican enablers’ efforts to discredit it only embolden Russia and makes them all accomplices to future attacks on our elections.”

Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 
If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They are laughing their asses off in Moscow. Get smart America!

Now that Adam Schiff is starting to blame President Obama for Russian meddling in the election, he is probably doing so as yet another excuse that the Democrats, lead by their fearless leader, Crooked Hillary Clinton, lost the 2016 election. But wasn’t I a great candidate?

I never said Russia did not meddle in the election, I said “it may be Russia, or China or another country or group, or it may be a 400 pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer.” The Russian “hoax” was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia - it never did!

Finally, Liddle’ Adam Schiff, the leakin’ monster of no control, is now blaming the Obama Administration for Russian meddling in the 2016 Election. He is finally right about something. Obama was President, knew of the threat, and did nothing. Thank you Adam!

Never gotten over the fact that Obama was able to send $1.7 Billion Dollars in CASH to Iran and nobody in Congress, the FBI or Justice called for an investigation!

General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians and that the only Collusion was between Russia and Crooked H, the DNC and the Dems. Remember the Dirty Dossier, Uranium, Speeches, Emails and the Podesta Company!

Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign - there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!

Donald J. Trump Retweeted Rob Goldman

“I have seen all of the Russian ads and I can say very definitively that swaying the election was *NOT* the main goal.” Rob Goldman Vice President of Facebook Ads