Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the now-completed Russian investigation redacted virtually all of the content explaining the structure of the internet troll farm accused of interfering in the 2016 U.S. election.
Mueller’s nearly 400 page report, published Thursday afternoon, effectively blacks out an entire sections pertaining to the Internet Research Agency, a Russia-based agency that sought to inject itself into the U.S. political system. A portion of the report, which begins on page 15, titled “Structure of the Internet Research Agency” is darkened and only contains superficial details about the group.
A federal grand jury issued indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies in 2018 who were suspected of interfering in the 2016 election. They used three companies — the Internet Research Agency, Concord Management and Concord Catering — to carry out the scheme, according to the indictment.
The indictment also suggests that many of the IRA’s efforts were aimed at hurting former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s election chances by boosting her opponents, including then-presidential candidates Donald Trump and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. The operation continued after the 2016, with the operatives organizing counter-rallies “protesting the results of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”
Media reports in suggest their efforts ultimately kick-started similar efforts during the 2018 mid-term elections.
Democratic operatives with a group called New Knowledge created thousands of Twitter accounts posing as Russian bots to boost the election-year chances of then-senatorial candidate Doug Jones. In October 2017, the accounts began following the Twitter account of Jones’ Republican opponent, Roy Moore.
The project created a slew of Facebook accounts as well that were designed to troll conservatives into opposing Moore.
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