BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - Republican Congressman Chris Collins says the indictment of 13 Russian nationals for allegedly meddling in the 2016 president election does not draw any connections to the Trump campaign.
The nationals, along with three Russian entities, are charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States.
In addition, three defendants are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, and five defendants with aggravated identity theft.
In response to the indictment announced Friday by Special council Robert Muller's office, Collins' communication director Sarah Minkel sent the following statement to 7 Eyewitness News on behalf of the congressman:
"These indictments are exactly what the special counsel should be doing, investigating Russian attempts to effect our elections and holding bad actors accountable. As I have said in the past, we need to let this investigation run its course, as well as those in the House and Senate. With that said, I have yet to see any proof that anyone from the Trump campaign knowingly associated with foreigners trying to influence the 2016 election or any collusion. Instead, I see Democrats and their biased media friends trying to delegitimize President Trump's election with baseless charges and allegations."
Mueller has been investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election as well as any connections between Russia and Trump campaign associates.
Beginning as early as 2014, the Russian organization Internet Research Agency began operations to interfere with the US political system, including the 2016 elections, according to the indictment.
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