Photo shows the exterior of the United States Department of Justice on Feb 16, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Xinhua/AFP)
WASHINGTON, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- A federal grand jury has indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities for alleged interference in the 2016 presidential elections, Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office announced Friday.
Charges in the indictment include conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.
The 37-page indictment was sought by the office of Mueller, who was named last year by the Department of Justice to conduct an outside investigation into allegations of Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election and possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's campaign and Moscow.
The indictment also accuses the Internet Research Agency LLC and two other companies of orchestrating an internet campaign to influence the presidential race through channels including social media.
It alleges that those Russian nationals and entities plotted to meddle in the 2016 election through social media propaganda aimed at helping Republican Donald Trump and harming the prospects Hillary Clinton, his Democratic rival.
The intent of the meddling, according to the indictment, was to "sow discord in the U.S. political system.
Speaking at a press conference shortly after the release of the indictment, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said there is no allegation in it that "any American was a knowing participating" in those activity.
He also added that "there is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election."
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that President Trump has been briefed on the indictment but but there was no other immediate comment.
Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin denied any Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, claiming any allegations are politically motivated lies.
A Russian lawmaker called the U.S. charges "another anti-Russian push," according to the RIA Novosti state news agency.