In November 2016, a Charlotte City Councilman with ties to the Clintons attended a rally reportedly organized by Russian interests.
“Defendants and their co-conspirators organized a rally entitled ‘Charlotte Against Trump’, in Charlotte, North Carolina, held on or about November 19, 2016,” said an indictment by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III against 13 Russians, released on Feb. 16.
The indictment alleges that Russian special interests bought advertisements and created groups on social media to influence American voters in the 2016 presidential election.
According to the indictment, Russian interests, using social media platforms, went so far as to organize rallies both for and against Hillary R. Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Sen. Rafael E. “Ted” Cruz (R.-Tx.), and President Donald J. Trump. Unwitting Americans subsequently participated in those rallies.
One of those unwitting Americans was Charlotte City Councilman Braxton Winston II, a Democrat.
A photo provided to Big League Politics by the Charlotte Regional Republican Volunteer Network shows Winston at the Russian organized “Charlotte Against Trump” rally, held on Nov. 9 in the Queen City.
Winston, a community activist, quickly rose to prominence after protesting the death of Keith Lamont Scott, who was killed by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer in September of 2016. The officer involved in the shooting was cleared of wrongdoing, which led to riots in Charlotte. One person died as a result of the rioting.
Winston has also ingratiated himself with the Clinton family. After his election to the city council, Chelsea V. Clinton, daughter president William J. “Bill” Clinton tweeted the following:
Mr. President, @BraxtonWinston is a superb example of an actual “very fine” person. And, yes I️ know he won an election in Charlotte, not Charlottesville. Still, please learn more about him @realDonaldTrump @potus (My first #280charactertweet. Please understand @chrissyteigen!) pic.twitter.com/6OpNyLiHpg
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) November 9, 2017
“Mr. President, @BraxtonWinston is a superb example of an actual “very fine” person,” she said, sharing an iconic photo of Winston taken during the Charlotte riots.
To date, the narrative surrounding Russian involvement in the 2016 election cycle has been focused squarely on Trump. It is now clear that multiple politicians – Democrats included – may have benefitted from the meddling, and that none willingly colluded with Russia to gain an advantage.