You can bet-if this ever makes it to court-that defense attorneys for the Russian operatives will cling on to these First Amendment issues to fight the indictment.
One of the men named in the indictment - Yevgeny Prigozhin, who is known as "Putin's chef", denied election tampering.
"Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President", he tweeted.
Speaking of elections, the political impact of today's indictments is another factor to consider.
Russia's Internet Research Agency "had a strategic goal to sow discord in the United States political system, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election", the indictment said.
The court document said that the objective of the operation was to "defraud the United States by impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of the government through fraud and deceit for the goal of interfering with the USA. political and electoral processes, including the presidential election of 2016". Trump himself has been reluctant to acknowledge the interference and any role that it might have played in propelling him to the White House.
Some of the defendants posed as Americans and communicated with "unwitting individuals" associated with the Trump election team in order to coordinate activities, according to the document.
The Internet Research Agency had a "strategic goal to sow discord in the USA political system" including the election, according to the indictment.
For example, the defendants organised one rally to support the President-elect and another rally to oppose him-both in NY, on the same day, the indictment said.
Prosecutors said officials at that firm, the Internet Research Agency, described their work as "information warfare against the United States" and their goal as "spreading distrust toward the candidates and the political system".
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"Russian conspirators want to promote discord in the United States and undermine public confidence in democracy."If your cable operator does not have Newsmax TV just call and ask them to put us on - Call toll-free 1-844-500-6397 and we will connect you right away to your cable operator! The Justice Department has increasingly favored indicting foreign defendants in absentia as a way of publicly shaming them and effectively barring them from foreign travel.
Twelve of the 13 defendants charged worked for the Internet Research Agency. "Thirteen against the billion-dollar budgets of the security services?"
Friday's indictments, however, can also be viewed as a political move by the US, according to Tenenbaum.
Pinedo's attorney said Friday his client was not aware of the identity or motivations of those buying the accounts. It could very well mean that Mueller has not, or will not, find any evidence of US persons knowingly conspiring with these efforts. "They see what they want to see".
Russians posted "derogatory information about a number of candidates", and by mid-2016 they supported Trump and disparaged Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. The person was told "it is imperative to intensify criticising Hillary Clinton" in future posts.
But, as well-known election law expert Rick Hasen points out, FECA is not limitless, and some of the advertisements mentioned in the indictment might not actually be illegal.
Ahead of a Florida rally, the Russians paid one person to build a cage on a flatbed truck and another to wear a costume portraying Clinton in a prison uniform.
Russian Federation was hell bent on wreaking all kinds of havoc on the 2016 presidential elections, which featured Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
For example, in September 2017, one defendant wrote an email to a relative stating: "We had a slight crisis at work: the Federal Bureau of Investigation busted our activity (not a joke)".