Russian woman charged with alleged 'information warfare' against USA midterms

Russian woman charged with political interference in next month's midterm elections

A St. Petersburg building believed to be the headquarters of the Internet Research Agency

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

Referring to Khusyaynova, the Justice Department said, "The financial documents she controlled include detailed expenses for activities in the United States, such as expenditures for activists, advertisements on social media platforms, registration of domain names, the purchase of proxy servers, and promoting news postings on social network". "Our nation is built upon a hard-fought and unwavering commitment to democracy".

The new complaint - which was not brought by the special counsel, but rather Justice Department prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia - in focusing on the accountant involved in the alleged conspiracy against the United States, goes into greater detail about how the money was moved around, and continues to be moved around for operations geared towards the 2018 midterms.

The campaign aimed to boost Donald Trump's chances of winning the presidency while undermining his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, according to USA intelligence.

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.

Former FBI Director James B. Comey faced criticism for talking publicly on the eve of the election about the bureau resuming its investigation of Hillary Clinton, while keeping secret the separate probe into possible ties between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign.

The charges announced today centered on a conspiracy that included the creation of thousands of social media and email accounts that appeared to be run by USA persons as part of what the conspirators referred to as "information warfare against the United States".

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A criminal complaint against Khusyaynova does not include any allegation that the conspiracy had an effect on the outcome of a US election.

She is accused of playing a key financial role in a Kremlin-backed plan to conduct "information warfare" against the U.S., including to influence next month's congressional elections.

"The conspirators allegedly took extraordinary steps to make it appear that they were ordinary American political activists", by setting up thousands of accounts made to appear to be owned by Americans, the Justice Department said.

"This effort was not only created to spread distrust towards candidates for USA political office and the US political system in general, but also to defraud the United States by impeding the lawful functions of government agencies in administering relevant federal requirements", the news release said.

Officials say the alleged "conspiracy" sought to pit Americans against each other. She is not now in US custody.

The foreign influence scheme, dubbed "Project Lakhta", was intended "to sow division and discord in the United States political system", the DOJ complaint alleges, by stoking such hot-button issues as immigration, the Confederate flag, gun control and NFL players "taking a knee" during the national anthem.

Companies such as Facebook and Twitter provided "exceptional cooperation" to officials probing the allegations, the news release said.

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