A Russian company accused by Special Counsel Robert Mueller of funding a propaganda operation to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election is asking a federal judge for access to secret information reviewed by a grand jury before it indicted the firm.
Citing the fact the Department of Justice has "never brought any case like" Mueller's to court, Concord accused Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein of having "rejected the history and integrity of the DOJ and instead licensed a Special Counsel who for all practical political purposes can not be fired, to indict a case that has absolutely nothing to do with any links or coordination between any candidate and the Russian Government". The reason is obvious, and is political: "to justify his own existence".
The company is controlled by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a wealthy businessman who was placed on a US sanctions list earlier this year and who has ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Lawyers for Concord Management and Consulting LLC slammed Mueller's "political" witch hunt; claiming their clients had nothing to do with interfering in the 2016 race for the White House for either political candidate.
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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.
Concord is accused of providing funding for a Russian troll farm based in St. Petersburg that directed a social media campaign that investigators say was aimed at sowing discord among Americans and at generating favorable opinions of Trump while denigrating his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton. Concord's attorneys entered a plea of "not guilty" during the arraignment last week.
If the court determines, the document added, that Mueller's team "did not provide a complete and accurate mens rea [criminal intent] instruction then the instruction should be disclosed to the Defendant because there may be grounds to dismiss Count One of the Indictment on that basis".