Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said at a press conference Friday that no American was “a knowing participant” in the Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election, as detailed in the DOJ’s Friday indictment of 13 Russian nationals.
A reporter noted that, “On page four of the indictment, paragraph six, it specifically talks about the Trump campaign, saying that defendants communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump campaign.”
“My question is later in the indictment, campaign officials are referenced not by their name, by campaign official one or two or three,” she continued. “Were campaign officials cooperative or were they duped? What was their relationship with this?”
Rosenstein answered, “There’s no allegation in this indictment that any American had any knowledge. And the nature of the scheme was the kept defendants took extraordinary steps to make it appear that they were ordinary American political activists, even going so far as to base their activities on a virtual private network here in the United States so if anybody traced it back to the first jump, they appeared to be Americans.”
“There is no allegation in the indictment of any effect on the outcome of the election,” he also said.
DOJ: 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.
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) February 16, 2018
13 Russians were indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller Friday.