Federal Indictment In Russian Election Meddling Announced; GOP Floored


Just when the Russian meddling story seemed to be taking a back seat to a hundred other sensational news stories around the presidency of Donald Trump, the first criminal case around Russian election meddling was filed in Alexandria, Virginia.

According to POLITICO:

‘Elena Khusyaynova, 44, a St. Petersburg, Russia-based accountant, was charged in a criminal complaint with conspiracy to defraud the United States for taking part in a scheme to spend in excess of $10 million since the beginning of the year on targeted social media ads and web postings intended “to sow division and discord in the U.S. political system.”‘

Trump has never fully admitted that Russia tried to influence the election in his favor and continues to insist it may have been China and that the efforts to steer the election were in Hillary Clinton’s favor, not his. This federal charge proves that wrong.

‘Khusyaynova, who is not in U.S. custody, allegedly works for a Russia-based firm that special counsel Robert Mueller’s office indicted in February for alleged interference in the 2016 election.

‘The unsealing of the new charge Friday appears to be a signal that U.S. law enforcement is not letting up in its efforts to investigate, deter and publicize alleged Russian interference in U.S. politics.’

While nothing in this story proves that Trump’s campaign colluded with Khusyaynova’s firm, it is the first criminal case to be filed that could logically lead to that conclusion since everyone arrested so far in Trump’s orbit, which includes his former campaign manager Paul Manafort and personal attorney Michael Cohen, has decided to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation once their legal troubles exploded.

‘The new case is being handled not by the special counsel but by federal prosecutors in Alexandria, Va. — an apparent signal to President Donald Trump that Mueller’s investigation won’t become an open-ended probe continuing through the 2018 election or beyond.’

Mueller is not personally handling this case, nor is it part of his collusion investigation. It is, however, a case to watch for both him and the rest of the United States as the collusion investigation plays out.

Featured image via Flickr by Gage Skidmore under a Creative Commons license