Saturday September 22nd, 2018 4:54PM

Russian company attacks Mueller indictment as baseless

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Russian company indicted in the special counsel investigation attacked the case in an acerbic court filing Monday that accused the government of inventing a "make-believe crime."

The sharp rhetoric from Concord Management and Consulting LLC suggests the makings of a pitched court fight and a fresh challenge to the authority of special counsel Robert Mueller, who was appointed by the Justice Department last May to investigate potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign.

The company was indicted in February on charges of conspiring to meddle in the 2016 presidential election by funding a covert social media campaign aimed in part at getting Republican Donald Trump elected president. The indictment, which also named two other Russian companies and 13 individuals, was the first brought by Mueller's team to directly attach criminal charges to Russian attempts to interfere in the election.

Concord is controlled by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a wealthy businessman with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin who was placed on a U.S. sanctions list earlier this year. It is accused of providing funding for a huge Russian troll farm that directed a hidden but powerful social media campaign that investigators say was aimed at sowing discord among Americans and at favoring Trump over Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.

Lawyers for the company argued in their new court filing that the Justice Department had never before alleged a conspiracy by a foreign corporation to interfere in American politics "by allegedly funding free speech."

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

The lawyers say Mueller has charged 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 Special Counsel has to indict a Russian — any Russian," the lawyers wrote, including as a footnote a line from the movie "Casablana" in which the character of Captain Renault, a police official says, "Major Strassor (sic) has been shot. Round up the usual suspects."

The company says there is no allegation in the indictment that it intended to break the law, even though the specific federal campaign and foreign agent registration laws at issue require the government to show willfulness.

The company wants the judge to review the instructions that prosecutors gave to the grand jury that issued the indictment to "determine whether or not they include information that would support a motion to dismiss" the case.

___

Follow Eric Tucker on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAP

Read the court filing here: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4461377-Motion-by-Russian-company-challenging-charges.html

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Elections, General Presidential Election News, AP World News, AP Business, AP Business - Corporate News, AP Elections - Campaigns
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: Police: Children said they had punctures, burns
A California police lieutenant says children taken from a home said they had puncture wounds, burns, bruises and injuries consistent with being shot with a pellet gun
7:49PM ( 3 minutes ago )
Melania Trump has 'successful' procedure on kidney condition
The White House says Melania Trump has undergone a successful procedure to treat a benign kidney condition and will likely be hospitalized for the rest of the week
7:47PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Sex-related charge against dropped against Missouri governor
Prosecutors have dropped an invasion-of-privacy charge against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, but say they still plan to pursue the case
7:34PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: UN Security Council sets meeting Tuesday on Gaza
The U.N. Security Council is set to meet Tuesday to discuss the deadly violence along the Israel-Gaza border
7:16PM ( 36 minutes ago )
Trump defends decision to revisit action on Chinese company
President Donald Trump is defending his push to get a Chinese telecommunications company "back into business."
7:13PM ( 39 minutes ago )
The Latest: Trump visits wife in hospital after procedure
President Donald Trump has departed a military hospital near Washington after visiting his wife, Melania, who underwent a procedure to treat a benign kidney condition
6:54PM ( 58 minutes ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
The Latest: Greitens says dropped charge a 'great victory'
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is calling the decision to drop a criminal charge against him "a great victory that has been a longtime coming."
7:02PM ( 50 minutes ago )
The Latest: Prosecutors drop charge against Greitens
Prosecutors have dropped an invasion-of-privacy charge against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens but say they hope to refile the case
6:16PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Israel to reopen Gaza's main cargo crossing
The Israeli military says it is reopening the Gaza Strip's main cargo crossing, which was damaged over the weekend by Palestinian protesters
5:31PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Elections
Oprah keeps it unpresidential in address to California grads
Oprah Winfrey figured it was safe to talk about politics again as she spoke to graduates at the University of Southern California, saying the rumors of a presidential run have finally faded
6:11PM ( 3 days ago )
Kelly says Trump is 'distracted' by Russia probe
White House chief of staff John Kelly says President Donald Trump is "somewhat embarrassed" by the special counsel's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election
2:57PM ( 3 days ago )
Kelly says Trump is 'somewhat embarrassed' by Russia probe
White House chief of staff John Kelly says President Donald Trump is "somewhat embarrassed" by the special counsel's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election
8:48AM ( 3 days ago )
General Presidential Election News
55 dead in Gaza protests as Israel fetes US Embassy move
In a jarring contrast, Israeli forces shot and killed at least 55 Palestinians during mass protests along the Gaza border as just a few miles away, Israel and the U.S. held a festive inauguration ceremony for the new US Embassy in contested Jerusalem
7:07PM ( 45 minutes ago )
Chilean bishops open to resignations, reparation for abuse
Chile's Catholic bishops say they are open to whatever Pope Francis proposes to overhaul the Chilean church devastated by a clergy sex abuse and cover-up scandal, including the removal of bishops
5:29PM ( 2 hours ago )
Markle seeks respect for dad after report he'll skip wedding
Kensington Palace says Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are requesting "understanding and respect" for Markle's father after a celebrity news site reported he would not be coming to the royal wedding to walk his daughter down the aisle
5:19PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP World News
NFL seeks help from Congress on sports gambling ruling
NFL wants Congress to enact framework for legalized sports betting in wake of Supreme Court's ruling
6:28PM ( 1 hour ago )
Watchdog: EPA's Pruitt demanded 24/7 armed security on Day 1
The Environmental Protection Agency internal watchdog says Scott Pruitt demanded and received around-the-clock protection from armed officers _ a detail that appears at odds with past claims the stepped-up security came in direct response to death threats
5:34PM ( 2 hours ago )
Fox to add Tim Allen's 'Last Man Standing' to fall lineup
Fox said Monday it is bringing 'Last Man Standing' to its fall lineup, a year after ABC dropped the Tim Allen comedy
5:21PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Business
After an early rally, stocks hold modest gains in afternoon
U.S. stocks are holding on to slight gains in late-afternoon trading. The market had started solidly higher on hopes that the U.S. and China are making progress on trade.
3:18PM ( 4 hours ago )
Health care and energy companies help lift US stock indexes
U.S. stocks edged higher in afternoon trading as investors hope for reduced trade tensions between the U.S. and China
2:31PM ( 5 hours ago )
Sears: Committee explores sale of Kenmore, other assets
Sears: Committee to explore sale of Kenmore, other assets
11:28AM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Business - Corporate News
The Latest: Israel strikes Gaza after gunfire with militants
Israel's military says it has carried out five airstrikes in Gaza after militants exchanged fire with soldiers
10:18AM ( 9 hours ago )
The Latest: Kushner says protesters 'part of the problem'
Jared Kushner says Palestinians participating in Gaza border protests are "part of the problem and not part of the solution."
10:13AM ( 9 hours ago )
The Latest: Arab Israelis protest outside new US embassy
Hundreds of Arab citizens of Israel, including five members of parliament, are staging a protest near the site of a new U.S. Embassy in contested Jerusalem
10:01AM ( 9 hours ago )
AP Elections - Campaigns
The Latest: Police: Children said they had punctures, burns
A California police lieutenant says children taken from a home said they had puncture wounds, burns, bruises and injuries consistent with being shot with a pellet gun
7:49PM ( 3 minutes ago )
Melania Trump has 'successful' procedure on kidney condition
The White House says Melania Trump has undergone a successful procedure to treat a benign kidney condition and will likely be hospitalized for the rest of the week
7:47PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Sex-related charge against dropped against Missouri governor
Prosecutors have dropped an invasion-of-privacy charge against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, but say they still plan to pursue the case
7:34PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Tesla's Autopilot engaged during Utah crash
The driver of a Tesla electric car had the vehicle's semi-autonomous Autopilot mode engaged when she slammed into the back of a Utah fire department vehicle this weekend, in the latest crash involving a car with self-driving features
7:30PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Trump calls leakers 'cowards' after aide's remark on McCain
President Donald Trump is calling West Wing leakers "traitors and cowards" as a dustup over an aide's crass remark about Arizona Sen. John McCain extends into a fifth day
7:28PM ( 24 minutes ago )