Russian woman charged with U.S. election interference

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The Justice Department on Friday charged a Russian woman for her role in a conspiracy to interfere with the 2018 US election, marking the first criminal case prosecutors have brought against a foreign national for interfering in the upcoming Midterms.

But the statement noted, "We are concerned about ongoing campaigns by Russia, China and other foreign actors, including Iran, to undermine confidence in democratic institutions and influence public sentiment and government policies".

Project Lakhta is allegedly funded by Russian oligarch and associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin, and two companies he controls.

Federal authorities have charged a Russian woman for allegedly taking part in a Russian plot to interfere in the upcoming 2018 midterms elections and other politically-charged events inside the United States, the DOJ announced, October 19, 2018.

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

Khusyaynova and Project Lakhta are tied to the Russian agencies named in special counsel Robert Mueller's July federal indictment in Washington, D.C., against 12 Russian nationals for allegedly hacking the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign.

In a statement, the Director of National Intelligence said officials "do not have any evidence of a compromise or disruption of infrastructure that would enable adversaries to prevent voting, change vote counts or disrupt our ability to tally votes in the midterm elections".

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The FBI has been warning for a while that the Russians would try to interfere in the midterms, and the Justice Department has just brought a criminal case alleging just that.

The social media efforts specifically focused on the shootings of church members in Charleston, South Carolina, and concert attendees in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Charlottesville "Unite the Right" rally, which left one counterprotester dead, and police shootings of African-American men, the complaint says.

In July, 12 Russians were charged with hacking Democratic Party emails during the 2016 United States presidential election.

Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence blasted China in a speech saying Russia's influence efforts in America pale in comparison with the covert and overt activities of the Chinese to interfere in the midterms and counter Trump's tough trade policies against Beijing.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said recently that Russia has no intention to interfere in the midterm elections in the USA or meddle elsewhere.

The officials have cited largely public steps taken by China, such as aiming tariffs at politically important states and pressuring US businesses to speak out against the Trump administration. And, by using the "thousands of social media and email accounts" that were generated, they allegedly tried "to create and amplify divisive social and political content targeting USA audiences", the news release said.

The Russian operatives discussed how to influence public opinion.

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