“The charges came to no conclusion about voter influence, but described extensive efforts to tip the election in his favor.”
New charges on Friday in the special counsel’s Russia investigation put attention squarely on a notion President Donald Trump has aggressively sought to avoid: the legitimacy of his 2016 election.
Trump and the White House were quick to argue that the indictment of 13 Russian nationals further indicated there was no collusion between Russian operatives and the campaign — and that the vast Russian operation, dubbed “information warfare” by the Justice Department, had no impact on the election result.
But the indictment, like intelligence reports before it, came to no conclusion about the impact of the Russian campaign. And, for the first time, Americans were shown in granular detail how Russian spies worked to sway the election in Trump’s favor, with everything from social media campaigns and ad buys to the organization of rallies and payments to demonstrators dressing up as Hillary Clinton in a cage.