Friday afternoon, the Justice Department released an indictment that’s part of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election led by special counsel Robert Mueller.
The indictment outlines the lengths Russia went to influence the election in favor of Donald Trump and against Hillary Clinton — including by supporting Bernie Sanders (and, later, Jill Stein).
The Russian operations on social media were meant to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton and other candidates, including Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. And they were supposed to support Sanders and Trump.
“Use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump—we support them),” they were directed, according to the indictment.
This was because the Russians involved really didn’t like Hillary Clinton.
Around September 14 in 2016, for example, one “account specialist” of a Russian-controlled Facebook group called “Secured Borders” was reprimanded for having a “low number of posts dedicated to criticizing Hillary Clinton.”
The specialist was also told, “it is imperative to intensify criticizing Hillary Clinton.”
Later on, Russian operatives used accounts they controlled — including an account called “Woke Blacks” and “Blacktivist” — to urge Americans to vote for third-party candidates or not to vote at all. “Choose peace and vote for Jill Stein,” one such message read. “Trust me, it’s not a wasted vote.”