Mueller Indictment Asserts Russians Targeted Black Voters in 2016 Elections

Mueller Indictment Asserts Russians Targeted Black Voters in 2016 Elections


In an indictment filed by social counsel Robert Mueller III on February 16, the extent of Russian interference in the 2016 elections was revealed. Rod Rosenstein the Deputy Attorney General for at the Department of Justice, announced the 37-page indictment.

The highly detailed indictment included what had already been suspected: That the Russians targeted African American voters. A Russian “troll farm” worked to stoke racial tensions in 2016 using several social media platforms to discourage African-Americans from voting. Social media accounts included “Woke Blacks” and “Blacktivists” and encouraged voting for third-party choices, such as Green Party candidate Jill Stein, or not voting at all.

According to the indictment one social media message read, “Choose peace and vote for Jill Stein,” as another message read, “Trust me, it’s not a wasted vote.” Stein won over a million votes in 2016. The margin of votes Hillary Clinton won over Donald Trump was over 3 million but Clinton lost the electoral college and several key states were the reason.   

In two key states Trump won over Clinton, Stein’s margin of victory was larger. In Michigan, Trump won over Clinton by 10,704 votes and Stein got 51,463 votes. In Wisconsin, Trump won over Clinton by 22,177 and Stein received 31,006 votes.

In a third key state, Pennsylvania, Stein received 49,485 votes as Trump’s victory margin over Clinton was 67,416 votes.

In all, 13 Russians along with three companies are accused of interfering in the 2016 presidential election. 

Amid the current silence on the issue of Russian interference by President Donald Trump, the indictment provides detailed investigative evidence that a group of Russians deliberately interfered with the perceptions of Hillary Clinton.  They also targeted voters in key swing states.

Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein was careful not to assert that Americans were involved in the Russian interference.  But there is the clear inference that more indictments could be coming on the subject of Russian interference in the 2016 elections.  

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Lauren Victoria Burke
Lauren Victoria Burke is a writer, comms strategist and political analyst. She created Crewof42, a blog focused on African American members of Congress, in 2009. Ms. Burke also writes for NBC BLK, The Root, NNPA and is the Managing Editor of Politic365. As part of a diverse career in politics and media, she has served as a congressional staffer for the U.S. Senate Democratic Policy Committee, Communications Director for U.S. Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) and Director of Communications for Justin Fairfax for Lt. Governor of Virginia. From 2014 to 2017, Ms. Burke appeared each Monday on NewsOneNow with Roland Martin on TVOne. Ms. Burke holds a B.A. in History from The American University. She was born and raised in New York. Email: Twitter: @LVBurke. IG: @laurenvburke. Periscope: @LVBurke