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Good afternoon. A grand jury in the District of Columbia today returned an indictment presented by the Special Counsel's Office. The indictment charges 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies for committing federal crimes while seeking to interfere in the United States political system. The conspiracy was part of a larger operation called Project Lacta.
It employed hundreds of people in its online operations ranging from creators of fictitious personas to technical and administrative support personnel for the annual budget of millions of dollars. The defendants posed at as politically and socially active Americans advocating for and against particular candidates. They established social media pages and groups to communicate with unwitting Americans.
The defendants allegedly staged rallies to support the President elect, while simultaneously staging rallies to protest his election. For example, the defendants organized one rally to support the President elect and another rally to oppose him, both in New York on the same day. No communication with the Russians about this.
We'll follow the ordinary process of seeking cooperation and extradition. Thank you very much.