Russian company attacks Mueller indictment as baseless

16 May, 2018, 11:05 | Author: Cecil Buchanan
  • Special Counsel Robert Mueller departs Capitol Hill following a closed door meeting in Washington

As President Donald Trump approaches the one-year anniversary of the launch of the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, he's grown increasingly impatient in recent weeks, The Washington Post reported.

"The obvious reason for this is that no such crime exists in the federal criminal code", the lawyers wrote.

In a court filing in Washington on May 14, the Concord consulting company headed by a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin rejected Mueller's charge that it conspired to defraud the US government by funding a covert social media campaign during the 2016 presidential election aimed at helping get Republican Donald Trump elected president.

The indictment said Concord was controlled by Russian businessman Evgeny Prigozhin, who US officials have said has extensive ties to Russia's military and political establishment.

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The first of the 16 Russian entities to respond to indictments by special counsel Robert Mueller has denounced the charges as a political witch hunt in service of a non-existent case.

Concord is facing charges of conspiring to defraud the United States, and is accused of controlling funding, recommending personnel and overseeing the activities of the propaganda campaign. Prosecutors say the company provided millions of dollars in funding to the Internet Research Agency, a Russian social media troll farm that investigators say sowed discord in the US political system from 2014 through 2017. Concord's attorneys entered a plea of "not guilty" during the arraignment last week. In Monday's filing, the attorney claimed that the indictment does not allege that the company meant to break the law, even though the specific federal campaign and foreign agent registration laws at issue require the government to show willfulness.

In addition, Dubelier and Seikaly asked the judge to review the instructions Mueller gave the grand jury that indicted Concord and its co-defendants.

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