Russian company indicted by Mueller responds, says he charged it with ‘make-believe crime’

Russian company indicted by Mueller responds, says he charged it with ‘make-believe crime’
A Russian company indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller is asking a federal judge to dismiss Mueller's charge against them, arguing it is a "make-believe crime." (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

One of the Russian companies special counsel Robert Mueller indicted in February asked a federal judge Monday to determine whether Mueller charged it with a “sham crime,” CNN reported.

In February, Mueller indicted three Russian companies — the Internet Research Agency, Concord Management and Consulting LLC, and Concord Catering — and 13 Russian individuals, accusing them of conspiring to interfere in the “US political and electoral processes, including the presidential election of 2016.”

What are the details?

Court documents show Concord Management alleged that foreign election interference is a “make-believe crime” that Mueller is using to “justify his own existence.”

Concord said Mueller’s motive is his desire “to indict a Russian — any Russian.”

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 cannot be fired, to indict a case that has absolutely nothing to do with any links or coordination between any candidate and the Russian Government.”

Concord’s lawyers, Eric Dubelier and Katherine Seikaly, said they plan to ask the judge to dismiss the charge against them, explaining in exhaustive detail that Mueller’s indictment failed to prove, given judicial precedents, how Concord’s alleged actions violated a single federal statue.

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

What’s the background?

So far, Concord is the only company or person listed in Mueller’s indictment to challenge the charges against them. Concord’s attorneys entered a plea of “not guilty” during the arraignment last week.

Because the case’s defendants are foreigners, Mueller and his team likely did not expect any of the indicted would challenge the crimes against them. That all changed last month when Concord’s lawyers surfaced, making a series of evidentiary requests from Mueller’s team, which they are entitled to do as counsel.

Some believe the lawyers only did so to obtain sensitive documents related to Mueller’s investigation. However, it’s clear the lawyers are determined to prove its client has been unfairly charged and that Mueller’s investigation is a sham.

Since the lawyers surfaced in court, Mueller has suffered many embarrassing stories. Just last week, it was revealed that one of the companies Mueller charged — Concord Catering — did not exist as a legal entity during the time period Mueller alleged it committed a crime against the U.S.

And earlier in May, a federal judge told Mueller’s team in court he suspects, given the evidence before him, that Mueller’s case against Paul Manafort really is not about Russian interference, but about using Manafort as a pawn in a larger scheme to prosecute or impeach President Donald Trump.