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The Justice Department on Friday charged a Russian woman for her alleged role in a conspiracy to interfere with the 2018 U.S. election, marking the first criminal case prosecutors have brought against a foreign national for interfering in the upcoming midterms.
Elena Khusyaynova, 44, was charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States. Prosecutors said she managed the finances of “Project Lakhta,” a foreign influence operation they said was designed “to sow discord in the U.S. political system” by pushing arguments and misinformation online about a host of divisive political issues, including immigration, the Confederate flag, gun control and the National Football League national-anthem protests.
The charges against Khusyaynova came just as the Office of the Director of National Intelligence warned that it was concerned about “ongoing campaigns” by Russia, China and Iran to interfere with the upcoming midterm elections and the 2020 race — an ominous warning just weeks before voters head to the polls.
The article goes on to state the following:
Court papers said Khusyaynova’s operation was funded by Russian oligarch Yevgeniy Prigozhin and two companies he controls: Concord Management and Consulting, and Concord Catering. A criminal complaint filed against the woman charges that she managed the finances of Project Lakhta, including detailed expenses for activities in the United States, such as paying for activists, advertisements on social media, the registration of domain names, the purchase of proxy servers and the promotion of news postings on social media.
Russian National Charged with Interfering in U.S. Political System https://t.co/jPlpjua5a0
— Justice Department (@TheJusticeDept) October 19, 2018
Justice Dept. charges Russian woman for her alleged role in a conspiracy to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections https://t.co/J2mkHqJq4f
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) October 19, 2018
— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 19, 2018
The announcement, which was joined by the Justice Department, FBI and Department of Homeland Security, comes on the eve of a trip national security adviser John Bolton is making to Moscow, where he is expected to raise the issue with his counterparts.https://t.co/0FDHEQlu1Y
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) October 19, 2018
DOJ charges Russian woman with conspiring to interfere in the midterm elections: https://t.co/LWx6SOjN5c
She handled the financials for Project Lakhta, a social media influence operation. pic.twitter.com/b33RRcsY5B
— Eric Geller (@ericgeller) October 19, 2018
— The Hill (@thehill) October 19, 2018
The Latest: Russian woman charged with interfering in American elections, including next month’s midterms, through a social media effort aimed at trying to sway American public opinion.https://t.co/ZawogdDsyx
— The Associated Press (@AP) October 19, 2018
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