POLITICO: Fake news could prove vexing in Mueller probe

“Robert Mueller’s far-reaching Russia investigation is expected to delve into one of the biggest political phenomena of the Donald Trump era — fake news,” Politico’s Darren Samuelsohn reports today.

Over a dozen sources from Congress, law enforcement and white-collar criminal cases who are familiar with the matter, say that the potential collusion between Trump’s campaign aides and trolling social media accounts is a major focus point of Mueller’s investigation.

Samuelsohn digs in on how “the special counsel faces the challenge of showing Trump’s aides colluded with the Russia-linked Twitter bots and Facebook trolls.”

Our Legal Director, Ron Fein shares his insight:

Ron Fein, legal director for the government watchdog group Free Speech for People, which has filed several investigation requests with the Federal Election Commission seeking a probe of the Russian hacking, said the incessant pro-Trump and anti-Clinton social media messages were “like any type of influence or ad marketing campaign … designed to influence, and it can often have subtle or even unconscious effects.”

“There’s good reason why our laws prohibit these kinds of efforts from foreign governments or even private citizens,” Fein told POLITICO. “Even if they’re not 100 percent effective on every voter, they have an influence, and they wouldn’t be doing them if they didn’t.”

Later in the day, Donald Trump Jr. released emails with a Russian lawyer that point to further allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. We’ll keep you updated on new developments. Until then, we’ll keep fighting fake news and potential collusion however we can.

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