Odds and Ends
19 5, 7:44am
The problem isn't the influence - it's who did it.
No country allows another country to interfere in it's elections and nowhere is that legal.
When it's done openly it's called propaganda, but this was done covertly and hence it's sometime called just "influence".
But it was a state controlled intelligence operation, and another word for that is also hybrid warfare - as it's one country attacking another by non-military means.
And beyond the fake news and the fake adds and bots and everything else the Russians unleashed online, they also broke into the Democratic Party's data servers and released their e-mails (in cooperation with Wikileaks).
Basically all the people indicted and all the guilty pleas are connected to the Russia case.
But some people have been charged with many different crimes - and all of those aren't necessarily connected to Russia.
Collusion isn't an actual crime - it's just the act of cooperating in secret - so no one will ever be charged with "collusion" specifically.
Instead people have so far been charged with things like "conspiracy to defraud the United States" - which is what the crime of secretly cooperating with a foreign power to subvert the result of a US election would be prosecuted as, according to the law.
The guilty pleas stem from people admitting they lied to the FBI.
These people admitted one count of lying to the FBI in exchange for them flipping, and they are now providing evidence to the Special Counsel instead. The FBI certainly had a lot more evidence against them, but they dropped that in exchange for their cooperation.
Two of the five guilty pleas come from people who have admitted that they lied specifically about their contacts with Russians connected to the Russian government - Trump's first national security advisor Michael Flynn and his foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos.