DOJ Drops Case Against 2 Russian Companies Charged by Mueller

17 Mars, 2020, 14:34 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Concord was the only one of the 25 Russians and three Russian companies charged by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller to be brought to trial

Concord, which funds the St. Petersburg-based trolley factory, the Internet Investigation Agency, was part of an indictment against 13 Russian individuals and three companies, one of the main results of the 22-month investigation of Special Adviser Robert Mueller on Russian interference in the 2016 vote.

Even though the court allow Concord out of the case, a charge will certainly still get on documents- unanswered by any kind of of the continuing to be defendants in U.S. court- versus 13 Russians, consisting of the oligarch Yevgeniy Prigozhin, as well as the Internet Research Agency for conflicting in the 2016 political election.

At an earlier court hearing, prosecutor Adam Jed had accused Concord of not actively playing a role in its own defense, telling the judge overseeing the case he was concerned about the prospects for starting a trial in early April.

Still, prosecutors argued that the company's request to have sensitive new evidence sent to Russian Federation "unreasonably risks the national security interests of the United States".

Russia's military intelligence agency GRU figured heavily in the Mueller report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, which concluded that Russia hacked the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton's campaign to help Trump.

They also said they faced new challenges with the government's burden of proof in the case, due to a "classification determination" and other facts that were classified.

Representatives representing Concord Management and Consulting LLC leave federal court in Washington after pleading not guilty on behalf of the company in May 2018. All Russians remained in their home county, safe from extradition. The Justice Department has not wanted to expose law enforcement and national security techniques in discussing more details about the case publicly, and prosecutors on Monday reiterated that concern.

Over the past two years, Concord's lawyers have waged a war of attrition against the Department of Justice, lobbying for allegations of wrongdoing in colorful court records, only to be rejected several times by the judge, Justice Dabney Friedrich, appointed by President Donald Trump.

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Even a test would not be able to hold the firm responsible considering that its leaders are in Russian Federation, they composed. The company was represented by lawyers from a U.S. law firm and refused to send representatives to the United States to examine the evidence. In recent weeks, Prigozhin signed an affidavit saying the company didn't have documents the prosecutors had subpoenaed and believed it had.

The filing said prosecutors came to the decision after determining that Concord has no presence in the USA and "no exposure to meaningful punishment in the event of a conviction" and that a case against the company would not serve justice or national security.

"In short, Concord has demonstrated its intent to reap the benefits of the Court's jurisdiction while positioning itself to evade any real obligations or responsibility", prosecutors wrote.

The case was not without controversy.

The Justice Department alluded to some of these issues on Monday in its abandonment motion. CNN previously reported that some Justice Department lawyers second-guessed the decision to charge the Russian companies, fearing that its lawyers could game the legal system to obtain sensitive information from the U.S. government. This week, CNN exclusively reported that the Kremlin-backed troll farm has changed its tactics but is up and running for the 2020 election.

But with the case approaching trial, prosecutors said they had to weigh the risk of potentially exposing sensitive national security information against the benefits of continuing with the case against a company that likely wouldn't face any significant punishment in the U.S.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.



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