The US prepares charges against FNA for interfering in the 2018 elections
Washington created some new fakenews about FNA interfering in the US elections. Such moves are usually followed by a rusophobic campaign spreading in the Western press.
The Federal News Agency is threatened with another criminal prosecution by the US authorities. They made it clear by sending our agency a formal request from FEC where they accuse FNA of «the impact on the American electoral system». This accusation, just like all the previous ones, is based on unsubstantiated claims and anti-Russian clichés.
The accusation is related to the election campaign of Brian Kemp, the Republican Governor of Georgia, who competed against african-american democrat Stacey Abrams. The American authorities saw the "hand of Moscow" in this election. They don’t provide any evidence of FNA involvement in the election, but still claim that Republican election headquarters paid for the work of the FNA. In the letter they state that FNA is extremely competent in electoral contests. They also demand a written response from the FNA managers not later than 15 days after receipt of this letter.
The main person the prosecution of FEC is focused on is person called Rinat Akhmetshin — an immigrant who received US citizenship in 2009. The official lobbyist for a number of wealthy citizens from the CIS in Washington, in the American press, Akhmetshin is now referred to as a "GRU operative" or even a "secret contact" between then presidential candidate Trump and Kremlin in 2016. They also provided no evidence of the slightest connection between Akhmetshin and the FNA.
So what does FEC accuse Akhmetshin of? According to the commision, during the elections in Georgia, the Republican headquarters of the victorious Governor Kemp made "suspicious" payments to several American companies. Medium Buying (Ohio), September Group (Wyoming), major Strategies (Florida) and Something Else Strategies (South Carolina) are listed as recipients of questionable payments.
The logic of the American prosecutors is: “you can’t see Akhmetshin's transactions, but they’re there, and we have some assumptions about how much he sent and who was the recepient, but we won’t tell you.” However there’s not a single company in Utah which is somehow connected to Akhmetshin, but there’s one alike in Wyoming. It received some money from Florida, while elections took place in Georgia. But abscence of any connection between the elections and the money transaction doesn’t stop the prosecutors from making accusations. According to them, russians are guilty by default and no evidence needed.
"Russian trace" left no trace
The absurdity in the question of the connection between the headquarters of the Republican governor Kemp and the lobbyist Akhmetshin fades in comparison to the logic behind FEC insinuations regarding the “Russian trace”.
Without bothering to present any tangible evidence, the FEC describes the four previously mentioned American firms, allegedly associated with Akhmetshin, as “potentially Russian companies” that allegedly provided payments in favor of the so-called “Internet Research Agency” (IRA). We are talking about the mythical “Russian troll factory”, which, according to Washington, chose Donald Trump as president of the United States in 2016 by persuading Americans to vote on it in social media.
The indictment does not indicate how the companies in Ohio, Florida, Wyoming and South Carolina were connected to Russia or the FNА. We just say that we don’t know all these names and there is no reason to link FNА with them.
However, FNА is mentioned in the FEC indictment and it reads as follows:
"On December 18, 2018, Kemp headquarters paid Something Else Strategies $ 275,000 the day before the US Treasury imposed sanctions on the Federal News Agency for interfering with the 2016 elections."
That is, the US authorities seriously believe that if the Republican headquarters makes payments to US firms on December 18, 2018, the FNА editorial board may be involved, because on December 19, 2019, the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on it.
The second mention of the FNА in the request of the US commission looks just as ridiculous.
“The initial contribution of Kemp headquarters to a potential Russian company “Medium Buying” was $ 499,860 in April 2018. Probably, the money was spent on the services of the Internet Research Agency and the Federal News Agency.”
The connection between the notorious “troll factory” and The Federal News Agency is described once again in the following part of the indictment:
“This content was also distributed by the IRA employees. It could allegedly be produced by the Federal News Agency (FNA LLC) in Russia”.
This means, the payments by the American election headquarters to their counterparties are easily tied to the fact that our editorial office and the mythical “Internet Research Agency” simply exist.
According to the letter to the FNA, the FEC found the following “violations” after the elections in Georgia:
— “Kemp and the Republican party of Georgia violated Article 52 of the United States Code, paragraph 30121 - a ban on electoral assistance from representatives of other countries. Kemp and the Republican Party of Georgia accepted substantial foreign assistance from the Internet Research Agency LLC and the Federal News Agency LLC, St. Petersburg, Russia”.
— “The Internet Research Agency LLC and the Federal News Agency LLC violate the 11th Code of Federal Regulations, paragraph 110.20 - prohibiting foreign organizations from participating in American election campaigns. The IRA services are highly valued by both the candidates and the US parties, which correlates with millions of dollars in campaign spending”.
It is worth reminding that the case against the mythical IRA was initiated on the basis of the Robert Muellers’ conclusion and on the decision of the Grand jury on February 16, 2018. And on December 19, 2018, the US Treasury put the FAN in the sanctions list, saying, without any evidence, that the Agency is part of the IRA company, funded by Eugene Prigozhin. According to the Ministry of Finance, IRA and FNA intervened in the elections in 2016, radically shifting the balance to favor of Donald trump.
The favorite game of the DNC and the Republican Party
FNA has absolutely no doubt that this accusation is just another way for the two main political parties to solve their domestic political issues at Russia’s expense. Democrats accuse FNA of helping Republican white Ryan Kemp in 2018 just because their candidate, african-american Democrat Stacy Abrams, lost in Georgia. The logic is exactly the same as it was behind the accusation of "interference" in the presidential election of 2016 — won by Republican trump, and lost Democrat Hillary Clinton. So the only possible explanation is that Russians intervened again and played against the Democrats.
You can read the full letter by following this link.