“A Judas goat is a trained goat used in general animal herding. The Judas goat is trained to associate with sheep or cattle, leading them to a specific destination. In stockyards, a Judas goat will lead sheep to slaughter, while its own life is spared. Wikipedia”
with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, with the stated goal of “spread[ing] distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general.” By the summer of 2016, their focus shifted to supporting Trump's campaign. They did it by boosting divisiveness with many methods, including trying to divide the Democratic vote by boosting the Green candidate and Bernie Sanders, and promoting fake rallies against Muslims and minorities.
Not in the indictment, but Russians creating discord is even still happening in the wake of the Parkland, Florida high school massacre, with bots hyping pro guns, just as they promoted “release the memo” campaign urging release of the Nunes memo, tech people following social media bots report. https://www.wired.com/story/
The Special Prosecutor’s investigation is not concluded and there are still many facets yet announced and other shoes to drop. The hacking issue is not the subject of this indictment. In fact, Donald Trump may be in even more at risk. President Trump is not cleared by this for other actions being investigated, obstruction of justice and financial dealings. What has been missing until now was an underlying crime. In fact, those indictments today provide the underlying crime needed to charge those in the President’ immediate circle or even him with conspiracy to commit a crime and/or with obstruction of justice.
interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. 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 posted 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).”
6.6. Defendant ORGANIZATION had a strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Defendants posted derogatory information about a number of candidates, and by early to mid-2016, Defendants’ operations included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump (“Trump Campaign”) and disparaging Hillary Clinton. Defendants made various expenditures to carry out those activities, including buying political advertisements on social media in the names of U.S. persons and entities. Defendants also staged political rallies inside the United States, and while posing as U.S. grassroots entities and U.S. persons, and without revealing their Russian identities and ORGANIZATION affiliation, solicited and compensated real U.S. persons to promote or disparage candidates. Some Defendants, posing as U.S. persons and without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities.