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The Number of Criminal Charges Mueller Has Officially Filed Against 35 Defendants Is Pretty Staggering


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Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s wide-net Russia investigation has officially resulted in 191 criminal charges against 35 defendants, and that count may only rise.

CNN’s Russia investigation reporter Marshall Cohen said, by CNN’s count, that Mueller has filed “191 criminal charges against 35 defendants,” including “112 new charges brought today against a dozen Russian operatives for hacking.”

In case you missed it, Russian military intelligence officers at Moscow’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) were indicted on Friday for their alleged role in the hack of the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). This is what Cohen is referring to when he cites 112 new charges.

These operatives allegedly used spearfishing techniques while “acting in their official capacities” to obtain log-in information of their targets with the intent of interfering in the election.

The Department of Justice said the defendants used the cryptocurrency Bitcoin as part of a “conspiracy to launder money in which the defendants laundered the equivalent of more than $95,000 by transferring the money that they used to purchase servers and to fund other costs related to their hacking activities.” That was count 10 of 11 handed down by the Special Counsel.

Other counts included “criminal conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States through cyber operations by the GRU” to interfere in the election, aggravated identify theft and conspiracy to commit an offense against the U.S. by hacking into “computers of state boards of elections, secretaries of state, and US companies that supplied software and other technology related to the administration of elections.”

Mueller’s investigation has already resulted in guilty pleas from former Trump campaign advisers Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, Richard Pinedo and Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwaan

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Manafort’s associate Konstantin Kilimnik, 13 people allegedly involved in a Russian troll farm scheme (plus three companies), and the 12 Russian intelligence officers mentioned have been charged with various crimes in case that are still ongoing.

[Image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.