COUNT ONE (Conspiracy to Defraud the United States)
…Actions Targeting the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election
[After committing identity theft/fraud]
42. By approximately May 2014, Defendants and their co-conspirators discussed efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Defendants and their co-conspirators began to monitor U.S. social media accounts and other sources of information about the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
43. By 2016, Defendants and their co-conspirators used their fictitious online person to interfere with the 2016 presidential elections. They engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then candidate Donald Trump.
a. On or about February 10, 2016, Defendants and their co-conspirators internally circulated an outline of themes for future content to be post to ORGANIZATION-controlled social media accounts. Specialists were instructed to post content that focused on “politics in the USA” and to “use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump-we support them).” [emphasis: mine]
46. In or around the latter half of 2016, Defendants and their co-conspirators, through their ORGANIZATION-controlled personas, began to encourage U.S. minority groups not to vote in the 2016 U.S. presidential election or to vote for a third-party U.S. presidential candidate.