Russian meddling indictment features ties to NC

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Russian meddling indictment hits home for North Carolina

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Raleigh, N.C. — Friday’s federal indictment of Russians on charges of tampering with the U.S. election system hits home for North Carolina.

The United States special counsel Robert Mueller accused 13 Russians Friday of an elaborate plot to disrupt the 2016 presidential election, charging them with running a hidden social media trolling campaign aimed, in part, at helping Republican Donald Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.

North Carolina shows up in the indictment that lays out the Russian meddling charges.

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Mueller: Unwitting Americans duped by Russia meddling

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The indictment shows a wide-ranging conspiracy to disrupt the elections system. According to prosecutors, the Russian plan included pro- and anti-Trump manipulation in the state of North Carolina.

When dozens showed up in Charlotte to protest a newly-elected Donald Trump in November 2016, it appeared to be a typical demonstration. But the federal indictment shows Russian nationals using fake personas and social media accounts actually organized it.

At the same time, the groups planned pro-Trump rallies elsewhere to drive a deeper wedge in American politics.

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Feds announce indictments over 2016 election meddling

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“The defendants allegedly conducted what they called information warfare against the United States, with the stated goal of spreading distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general,” Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said.

The indictment also shows how Russians used bogus social media to stir that distrust.

A made up Tennessee GOP Twitter account posted “allegations of voter fraud were being investigated in North Carolina” months before the election.

Prosecutors say the Russian plan was to exploit American anger.

“There is no allegation in this indictment that any American had any knowledge,” Rosenstein said.

Despite the high-profile announcement, there likely will not be any high-profile arrests. The 13 Russians are not in custody and not likely to ever face trial.

The Justice Department often indicts foreign defendants as a way to publicly shame them and effectively bar them from travel to the United States.

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