On Friday the front page of the New York Times told how the Justice Department accused Russia of interfering with this year’s election. It unsealed a criminal indictment against Elena Alekseevna Khusyaynova, 44, of St. Petersburg,. It charges that she was involved in an effort “to spread distrust toward candidates for U.S. political office and the U.S. political system.”
Then I wondered, was she the 400 pound individual Trump referred to who was sitting alone in her basement hacking around with her computer. You’d have to agree if that was the case that it was pretty good she could have done that by herself. If that was so, why are the Russians being blamed if this was a lone wolf operation.
Reading on in the article I discovered: “Ms. Khusyaynova managed millions of dollars for a company owned by Yevgeny V. Prigozhin, a Russian oligarch sometimes called “Putin’s chef.” ” That left me a little confused. Was she a restaurant manager? It would seem a chef’s company would be a restaurant. That wasn’t the case. Apparently Prigozhin did other things than cook food. He cooked up mischief against the United States during the 2016 election for which he was indicted in February.
It then became a little bit clearer. Ms. Khusyaynova was getting money from Prigozhin to use to run a company whose goal was to confuse the Americans. I went to the Washington Post to learn more. It reported “the sophisticated campaign Khusyaynova was a part of “did not exclusively adopt one ideological viewpoint” but instead tried to push incendiary positions on various political controversies on social media platforms. The Russians involved, prosecutors said, created fake personas and spread their divisive messages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The group attempted to sow conflict along racial lines and sometimes advocated positions that directly opposed each other, apparently agnostic to whom they supported as long as it turned Americans against one another, prosecutors said.”
That went along with what I read in the NY Times that said: “According to the complaint, Russia’s trolls did not limit themselves to either a liberal or conservative position, and often wrote from both viewpoints on the same issue.”
G. Zachary Terwilliger, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia said, “The strategic goal of this alleged conspiracy, which continues to this day, is to sow discord in the U.S. political system and to undermine faith in our democratic institutions.” Another article noted that Ms. Khusyaynova is accused of participating in a conspiracy engaged in “information warfare against the United States” that aimed “create and amplify divisive social media and political content.”
I have to admit that the whole matter is quite strange and confusing to me. First, Ms. Khusyaynova was not indicted. She is charged in a criminal complaint. No grand jury was used. The complaint came from a group of prosecutors sitting in an office writing out the charges. No independent authority reviewed them. Usually a complaint is used when you want to arrest a person prior to indicting her. In this case Ms. Khusyaynova is in St. Petersburg so no arrest was to be made. Or a complaint is used when a person agrees to the facts and is willing to come in and plead guilty to them. That didn’t happen here. Why was this process used?
Most importantly and most confusing is Ms. Khusyaynova is alleged to be involved in a conspiracy but no one else was charged as part of the conspiracy. You can’t conspire with yourself no matter how much you try. It seems obvious however that she is working for the Russian government in doing this. It also seems obvious that one of the conspirators had to be Vladimir Putin. Isn’t he the one who should be indicted rather than a woman whose main role was keeping the operation rolling on.
Two other notes. Trump when asked about it said: “Had nothing to do with my campaign.” No one said it did so why did he answer like that? Also, isn’t he president who should have something to say on behalf of the nation and not just his campaign.
Finally, it seems what the woman was doing is being done everyday by numberless Americans themselves. So why is it such a big deal. It seems the real problem is the American voters who are so stupid as to fall for all the nonsense. Maybe rather than issuing a complaint against Ms. Khusyaynova we should be bringing conspiracy of the dunces complaints against the millions of Americans who are duped by Ms. Khusyaynova and her friends. Isn’t stupidity a crime?