TEL AVIV — Far from building the case for collusion, the indictment of Russian nationals and entities for alleged interference in the 2016 presidential elections documents a narrative that is far different from Donald Trump’s presidential campaign knowingly conspiring with Russia.
The indictment was announced Friday by the Justice Department’s special counsel. The 37-page indictment of 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities charges that the Russians stole the identities of U.S. persons to deceptively “communicate with unwitting members, volunteers, and supporters of the Trump campaign involved in local community outreach.”
Specifically, the Russian nationals allegedly impersonated American grassroots activists to distribute pro-Trump material and communicate with “Trump campaign staff” involved in local community outreach for “Florida Goes Trump” grassroots rallies.
The indictment does not once mention the word “collusion.”
The indictment, reviewed in full by this reporter, cites only two instances of the Russians communicating directly with members of the Trump campaign, and both cases involved impersonating Americans. The Russians allegedly utilized a fake Gmail account impersonating an American to contact two Trump campaign workers involved in the campaign’s Florida operations.