As the smoke clears over the 13 Russians indicted for campaign 'meddling'....you have to ask yourself....what exactly happened?
In 2014, some Russian authorities (no one says Putin) decided to send a couple of Russians into the US, on a vacation....to gather information (intelligence). They weren't interested in US missile silos, rockets, or even troop strength. No....their interest was public usage of social media, and how social media was used.
It's probably the weirdest collection mission ever attempted by the Russians. A couple of guys driving around....asking stupid questions over social media....how social media really works....and how to create fake news.
Over a period (probably two years), they devised this plan to 'meddle' in the US election. They would use social media. They would plant reports and stories.
No one....not Mueller, or Congress, or any media system....can cite what real affect this led to. Maybe it influenced 10,000 voters.....maybe 100,000 voters....maybe one-million voters. But you can't cite this as a fact.
In various ways, they planted stories or news that made Bernie Sanders look better than Hillary. They planted stories that made Trump look good. They might even planted stories that made McCain look brilliant, or Jeb Bush look like an idiot. They had public events where they sponsored groups.
Prior to the November election, they used one tactic of suggesting to blacks not to bother voting. To be honest, you can't cite the true effect of this. Maybe 10,000 blacks did take the advice and just stayed home. Maybe 100,000. Maybe even one-million. And if they did stay home....were they honest-Hillary-voters or honest-Trump-voters? Again, there are no facts.
Then after the election, they funneled money to leftist groups to show up for anti-Trump rallies. No, these were not the Hillary-supported, or Soros-supported, or DNC-supported anti-Trump rallies....these were the Russian-supported anti-Trump efforts. The fact that one anti-Trump rally would occur in X-city and be Russian-supported, but two states away was another anti-Trump rally but supported by Soros? Well....let's not bring that up.
Where this goes now? You bring the 13 Russians into a court and try to have some jury case worked up. The problem I see is that the Russians might show up with the KGB experts and documented evidence from November 2011, and January/February 2012 Russian elections.....where US social media (you know, Goggle, Facebook, and Twitter) showed up and influenced the anti-Putin group and harmed the Putin campaign. If you were on the jury, you would sit there and eventually ask the judge....if the American 'idiots' from the Obama Administration started this whole thing in 2011....shouldn't those Americans be dragged into a Russian court and be charged with election meddling as well? Were the Russians only returning the favor?
But here's the bigger question, with all the Russian work done....is it possible that they really only affected 10,000 votes across the entire US? This is the bigger mystery to the whole story.