In a stunning setback, the Department of Justice has decided to drop the case against the two firms that funded the Russian troll farms to cause chaos in our election.
Mueller indicted the two firms in February 2018, Mueller’s first big move in the investigation. The DOJ argues that the Russians companies are abusing our courts to try to get access to classified information and made the decision it is not worth it. After all that? Wow.
“The Government has identified several considerations in its motion to dismiss that relate to the national security interests implicated by proceeding against defendants Concord Management and Consulting LLC and Concord Catering (‘Concord Defendants’),” prosecutors wrote.
“For the benefit of the Court, the Government seeks to provide information regarding these national security interests. These facts can only be filed ex parte because they are classified.”
“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.
“Upon careful consideration of all of the circumstances, and particularly in light of recent events and a change in the balance of the government’s proof due to a classification determination, as well as other facts described in more detail in a classified addendum to this motion, the government has concluded that further proceedings as to Concord, a Russian company with no presence in the United States and no exposure to meaningful punishment in the event of a conviction, promotes neither the interests of justice nor the nation’s security.”
Justice Department prosecutors on Monday filed a motion to dismiss charges against the shell companies accused of financing the Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll farm that engaged in a social media disinformation scheme to interfere in the 2016 election.
The big picture: Prosecutors claim that the Russians were essentially able to evade accountability and punishment while taking advantage of the discovery process to potentially harm U.S. national security.
Context: The shell companies, Concord Management and Concord Consulting, were charged by special counsel Robert Mueller in 2018 along with 13 Russian individuals and the troll farm itself — known as the Internet Research Agency. The scheme, outlined in the 2018 indictment and again in the Mueller report, sought to sow political discord ahead of the 2016 election.
Details: The Concord companies sought to fight the indictment in court, unlike the other Russians charged by Mueller. In doing so, prosecutors say they were able to “obtain discovery” from the U.S. government regarding its efforts to “detect and deter foreign election interference” — while also ignoring court-issued subpoenas.
BREAKING: Prosecutors move to drop the case against the Russians charged by Mueller. pic.twitter.com/yfm6XmzYya
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) March 16, 2020