Judge rejects Mueller’s request for delay in Russian troll farm case

Better times for Mueller. (And Comey.)

 

This is big. It has been observed for some time that if any of the Russians indicted showed up for trial, the case might collapse, both because the law being broken is unclear/actually made up and probably won’t hold up, and also because Special Counsel would have to share confidential info with lawyers representing the Russians. The Mueller error was indicting three companies because companies unlike individuals can show up in court without much downside. The whole case could collapse and make Mueller look like he badly overreached.

(From Politico)

A federal judge has rejected special counsel Robert Mueller’s request to delay the first court hearing in a criminal case charging three Russian companies and 13 Russian citizens with using social media and other means to foment strife among Americans in advance of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

In a brief order Saturday evening, U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich offered no explanation for her decision to deny a request prosecutors made Friday to put off the scheduled Wednesday arraignment for Concord Management and Consulting, one of the three firms charged in the case.

The 13 people charged in the high-profile indictment in February are considered unlikely to ever appear in a U.S. court. The three businesses accused of facilitating the alleged Russian troll farm operation — the Internet Research Agency, Concord Management, and Concord Catering — were also expected to simply ignore the American criminal proceedings.

Last month, however, a pair of Washington-area lawyers suddenly surfaced in the case, notifying the court that they represent Concord Management. POLITICO reported at the time that the move appeared to be a bid to force Mueller’s team to turn over relevant evidence to the Russian firm and perhaps even to bait prosecutors into an embarrassing dismissal in order to avoid disclosing sensitive information…

…The three companies named in the indictment are all reported to be controlled by a Russian businessman known as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “chef,” Yevgeny Prigozhin. He’s also one of the 13 individuals criminally charged in the case.

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