The Justice Department stated that Russian national Elena Alekseevna Khusyaynova had been charged with alleged interference in US elections, including the upcoming midterms. According to the department, she had acted through a vast social media effort that was aimed at trying to influence American public opinion.
US President Donald Trump has commented on the situation saying that the Russian national had "nothing to do" with his campaign.
According to the Justice Department, Khusyaynova, 44, from St. Petersburg, Russia helped control the funds and allegedly aimed to use fake social media posts to influence the American voters.
However, the criminal compliant did not include any allegation that the Russian national or a broader conspiracy had any effect on the election outcome.
Russian National Charged with Interfering in U.S. Political System https://t.co/jPlpjua5a0— Justice Department (@TheJusticeDept) October 19, 2018
"The criminal complaint does not include any allegation that Khusyaynova or the broader conspiracy had any effect on the outcome of an election," the release said.
Russia has yet to comment on the criminal complaint and the joint statement voiced by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department and the FBI.
The criminal complaint was released soon after US intelligence agencies jointly expressed their concerns about what they believed to be efforts by Russia, China and Iran to influence US voters and policies.
As the agencies specified, these "ongoing campaigns" could take many forms, including attempts to influence voters via social media, sponsoring content in English language media outlets or "seeding disinformation through sympathetic spokespersons regarding political candidates and disseminating foreign propaganda."
Over the last couple of years, the United States has regularly accused Russia of meddling in its 2016 presidential election. These claims have been repeatedly denied by Moscow, pointing to the lack of evidence to substantiate it.