Free The Trolls: The Justice Department Moves To Drop Major Mueller Case Against Russian-Linked Companies

It appears that trolls are enjoying St. Patrick’s Day as much as Leprechauns. The Justice Department shocked many by dropping the matinee case of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller against two Russian companies accused of funding the “troll farms” in the 2016 election. Many critics have charged that the trolling operation was laughingly ineffective and clumsy. Moreover, the evidence against the companies, including Concord Management and Consulting LLC and Concord Catering, was questioned. The prosecutors, while defending the original charges, moved to dismiss the case because they viewed the trial as threatening national security secrets. That claim seemed like more of a spin in a case that never seemed to materialize into hard evidence to support these charges. Update: The company has announced that it will sue the U.S. government for billions in damages — a move that will once again raise this same information for trial.

The sudden move came just two weeks before jury selection in the trial. The trial itself was largely symbolic since these companies are largely out of the reach of U.S. jurisdiction. However, the case from February 2018 was the primary prosecution of the trolling operation with three companies and 23 individual charged. It has now ended with a fizzle and a whimper.

Concord was the only defendant to enter an appearance in the case and vigorously contested the allegations of Mueller’s team. Concord is tied to Yevgeny Prigozhin, a wealthy businessman known as “Putin’s chef.”

The charging of the defendant brought MSNBC Rachel Maddow close to tears in proclaiming that “For me, personally, hearing these charges and hearing what they were charging these Russians for — it was the first time that I felt like finally, finally, for the first time since we realized all this was happened, finally, it feels like someone is defending us.” The emotion around the case often seem disconnected from the actual evidence both against the companies and more importantly on any real impact on the 2016 election.

Prosecutors now say that the trial “unreasonably risks the national security interests of the United States.” It is a curious conclusion since they have been litigating the case for years and sharing information with the counsel for the accused Russian trolls. They are now at the point to presenting that evidence, which is largely known to the defendants.

Nevertheless, prosecutors declared on Monday, that Concord had been “eager and aggressive in using the judicial system to gather information about how the United States detects and prevents foreign election interference.” It concluded “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. It is no longer in the best interests of justice or the country’s national security to continue this prosecution.”

The dropping of the charges further undermines the record of the Mueller team which largely convicted defendants of relatively minor crimes with short sentences for lying to investigators. Other more serious charges, like those against Paul Manafort and Micheal Cohen, were largely unrelated to the alleged Russian conspiracy.

The Mueller prosecution objectively achieved much in revealing the Russian trolling operation and its connections to the 2016 election. It cleared the Trump campaign of any direct knowledge or collusion with the Russians. However, in terms of the actual prosecutions that so moved Maddow, it was not particularly successful or substantial in major criminal convictions. For actual prosecutions (as opposed to the value of the report itself), the roughly $25 million and large Mueller staff seems an exercise in overkill in resources like using an aircraft carrier to take out dinghies.

Here is the filing: Justice Department’s Motion to Dismiss

48 thoughts on “Free The Trolls: The Justice Department Moves To Drop Major Mueller Case Against Russian-Linked Companies”

  1. Ptosecutorial ethics require a prosecutor to have a good faith belief he can prove his case before filing it.

    It is not enough to believe a person is guilty; one must also believe he can prove guilt.

    If these prosecutors did not believe they could present the evidence they had, they should never have filed in the first place.

    Of course they were not ethical and, very, likely not legal. They wanted headlines, not a trial.

    I believe they wanted a soft coup.

    They belong in prison.

    1. Of course I didn’t catch it. It’s elitist trash.

      While Glenn is getting excited for sure, he’s entertaining an interesting question. The complete fall down on testing and shortage of equipment by Trump after squashing the Pandemic Response team is at the very least a horrendous look. Certainly negligent. Even negligent enough to speculate on possible criminality.

      But I understand the right often needs to have body counts to self justify their own elitist beliefs. They need 32 thousand dead with the use of guns to justify a misguided understanding of the 2nd amendment…, they certainly wouldn’t define, say, an urban gang as a militia while that gang much more closely fits the definition then they do in their private possession of an automatic weapon. And since much of body count consists of suicide deaths, they need that body count to self justify their rationalizations of wandering mobs of violent criminals, and also just for the aspect of perverse thrill of being on the right side of the gun possession argument in their minds.

      But back to Trump and his Covid 19 negligence. Train already left the station on that one. The whole world knows his administration is the worst at testing in the industrialized world. At best it’s a gigantic f@#k up. It’s no wonder thoughts of criminal negligence are being entertained around his lack of response.

  2. [ 1, dennis hanna, wrote and posted it on or about August 2019, if memory were to serve accurately.
    The professor and others have said incorrectly that Russian government interfered with and worked to control or affect the 2016 Presidential campaign. As I have previously written, an extraordinary popular delusion. One knowingly, deliberately and intentionally propagated by the professor.
    As I have previously written, Mueller and his fellow lawyers violated the Court‘s and Judge’s Orders.
    Mueller and his Report, like the professor, are more politicians and about politics than they are about being lawyers and the law. ]

    Robert Mueller’s testimony twice violated two Orders, one Court Order and one Judicial Order.

    https://thefederalist.com/2019/07/31/robert-mueller-defy-court-order-stop-lying-russian-companies/

    Do you remember a triumphant Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein holding a dramatic press conference in February 2018, in which he announced the indictment of 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies. These companies included Concord Management and the Internet Research Agency (IRA).

    The original Federal indictment did not charge Concord with being a tool of the Russian government. Concord, however, filed a motion for a contempt citation against the Robert Mueller, his legal teams and the Federal government for making that allegation, which was not alleged in the pleadings.

    On July 1, 2019, Judge Dabney L. Friedrich issued an order (to which the government agreed) prohibiting further public statements by the government about the Concord and IRA case, particularly statements alleging that Concord and IRA worked on behalf of the Russian government.

    (A more detailed discussion of this train wreck can be read here.)

    On live television in front of an audience of millions, former special counsel Robert Mueller carefully skirted speculating on the guilt or innocence of Roger Stone due to his ongoing criminal prosecution.

    Robert Mueller testified under oath before two Congressional ( Senate and House Committees ), however, in violation of Federal Judge Dabney L. Friedrich’s Judicial Order, which ordered that Mr. Mueller and Mr. Mueller’s legal team to stop saying Concord and IRA worked for the Russian government.

    The government hasn’t alleged that, can’t prove it, and abandoned those allegations in open court. The government had only just barely escaped a criminal contempt citation because Mueller’s report and Barr’s press conference seemed to allege that the Russians (the Russians, as in the Russian government) were behind the troll farms. And that’s not true, according to the government’s own admissions.

    Less than two months before Mueller’s testimony before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, Judge Friedrich ruled that Mueller violated pretrial publicity rules with his public statements regarding Concord and its co-defendant, IRA.

    Mueller’s team did not say in the indictment that IRA or Concord worked for the Russian government, nor could it produce any evidence to support the Mueller report’s claims of Russian government control or coordination with IRA or Concord. Mueller barely escaped contempt of court because (1) he violated a mere “standing court rule,” and not a court order (which she entered after the first violation); and (2) Mueller held a May 29 press conference to walk back public accusations that Concord and IRA worked on behalf of the Russian government.

    But then he did it again, in his testimony last week. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) asked Mueller, “You said in your report…that the Russian intervention was sweeping and systematic…one of my colleagues earlier here referred to this Russian intervention as a hoax, and I’d like to get your comment on that. …The Internet Research Agency was spending about $1.25 million a month on all of this social media in the United States in what I would call an invasion in our country. Would you agree that it was not a hoax that the Russians were engaged in trying to impact our election?”
    Mueller responded, “Absolutely. It was not a hoax. The indictments we returned against the Russians, two different ones, were substantial in their scope, using that scope word again. And I think one of the — we have underplayed to a certain extent, that aspect of the investigation that has and would have long term damage to the United States that we need to move quickly to address.” You can watch the clip here.

    Mueller did it again in his response to Rep. William Hurd’s (R-Texas) question: “One of the most striking things in your report is that the Internet Research Agency, not only on its social media campaign in the U.S., but they were able to organize political rallies after the election. Our committee issued a report (inaudible) saying that Russian active measures are growing with frequency and intensity and including their expanded use of groups such as the IRA. And these groups pose a significant threat to the United States and our allies in upcoming elections. Would you agree with that?”

    Mueller again made it clear that he believed that the defendants in the Concord and IRA cases worked on behalf of the Russian government: “Yes. In fact, one of the other areas that we have to look at, and many more companies — not companies — many more countries are developing capability to replicate what the Russians had done.” This is exactly what Judge Friedrich said not to do: use the phrase “the Russians” or “Russia” when referring to Concord and IRA, because it strongly suggests that both worked at the direction of the Russian government.

    Mueller was reminded of Judge Friedrich’s admonishments in this sharp questioning during the Judiciary Committee hearing. Even if Mueller could not comprehend the perilousness of continuing to claim IRA and Concord worked for the Russian government (after abandoning that claim in open court), he was flanked by his aide Aaron Zebley who, in theory, should have been present to prevent this misstep. Yet, within a few short hours, he cavalierly violated Judge Friedrich’s order on national television, not once, but twice.
    Why did the Department of Justice coach Mueller to obey the court order regarding pretrial publicity in the Stone case but not the Concord/IRA case?

    Mr. Mueller and his DOJ handlers have made a mockery of the restraint Federal Judge Friedrich exercised in response to the government’s previous clear violation of a Standing Court pre-trial publicity order
    prohibiting prosecutors from using the media as their courtroom.

    Nevertheless, In front of millions of viewers, Mr. Mueller directly challenged and violated 1) the Standing Court Order and 2) the Specific Court Order to Special Prosecutor Mueller and his legal team of Federal prosecutors of Presiding Federal District Judge Dabney L. Friedrich to protect the fairness of the trial process.

    Why has not Mr. Mueller been found to be in violation and contempt, not once but twice, of one Court Order and one Judicial Court Order and sanction with monetary damages and jail time?

    Why am l wrong?

    dennis hanna

    1. Why has not Mr. Mueller been found to be in violation and contempt, not once but twice, of one Court Order and one Judicial Court Order and sanction with monetary damages and jail time?

      Why am l wrong?
      _____________________________________________________________
      You are wrong probably because you did not read the court order…
      The order did not say that Mueller could not call them Russian. They were Russian.
      The order said that Mueller must refrain from linking the particular allegations in the indictment to the Russian govt. There were other indictments that were linked to the Russian govt so general comments about discovering activities of the Russian govt did not violate the order.

  3. Ireland didn’t send us their best and of course not a day goes by in America when a guy of Irish lineage commits a crime, deals drugs, or kills someone in an automobile accident. It’s time someone stood up to protect Americans from these invaders. St Pat’s Day should be a solemn day of reflection and re-dedication to what America really stands for.

    1. btb:

      “not a day goes by in America when a guy of Irish lineage commits a crime …”
      **********************
      You’re right! Comey’s Irish!

  4. He knows “no collusion” is a lie
    __________________________________________
    I don’t know how he would know that. I read the Mueller report and and there is nothing I found that looked like real evidence that there was collusion.

    What is most conspicuous about the Mueller report is that it is just a bunch of stories without much in the way of evidence. Its like a badly written TV drama.

    1. Anonymous, did you read the thousand redactions that William Barr blackened from The Mueller Report?

  5. I’m shocked. You mean to say a defendant vigorously protested their own innocence???

    And the Barr Justice Dept. wants this to go away? My god, it’s like the sun coming up in the west or something.

  6. Trump will win reelection because Mother Nature, the Universe, all principalities will ensure that Democrats are shown to be liars, untrustworthy, power hungry megalomaniacs

    ILLINOIS DEMOCRATIC OFFICIAL SAYS PRIMARY VOLUNTEERS QUITTING AMID OUTBREAK

    The executive director of the Illinois Democratic Party said Monday that the party is struggling to gather enough volunteers for Tuesday’s primary election as the coronavirus spreads across the country.

    Mary Morrissey called for volunteers who are outside of the population most vulnerable to the virus when speaking with Hill.TV on Monday. She confirmed that the party has seen volunteers drop out because of the virus.

    “That is the biggest crisis in terms of the election right now is we need election judges,” she said

    1. Trump will win reelection because Mother Nature, the Universe, all principalities will ensure that Democrats are shown to be liars, untrustworthy, power hungry megalomaniacs
      ________________________________________________

      The trump administration could not rely on Mother Nature, the Universe etc., so they hired Robert Mueller to do the job.
      Then all trump had to do is tweet that its a witch hunt and a coup attempt and all the partisan morons instantly believed Mueller was working for the Democrats and not working for Trump.

      But look at the facts Mueller hasn’t helped the Democrats and he has helped Trump enormously and that outcome has nothing to do with anything the Universe or Mother Nature did.

      1. The trump administration…….. hired Robert Mueller.
        _______________________________________

        Ummmm………no.

        1. Who do you believe hired Robert Mueller?

          All Trump had to do is whine on twitter that its a witch hunt and coup attempt and that’s all it takes to convince the idiots that Mueller is Trump’s mortal enemy.
          Brer trump says “please don’t throw me in the briar patch!” and the morons buy it.

          What do you suppose Mueller and Trump discussed in the oval office the day before it was announced that Mueller would be Special Counsel?
          It has now been revealed from FOIA released documents that Mueller had been offered the job of SC by the Trump administration a couple days before he met with Trump.

          1. Who do you believe hired Robert Mueller?

            Rod Rosenstein. You’ve been corrected again and again on this point.

            1. Who do you believe hired Robert Mueller?

              Rod Rosenstein.
              ______________________________________

              The law says if the Trump administration wants to hire a Special Counsel only the acting AG can do that. So yeah the Trump administration hired Mueller in the manner specified by the statutes.
              Its the only way the Trump administration could do it.
              It was the first thing Rosenstein did after Rosenstein became acting AG. Well the second thing if you count helping Trump fire Comey by writing the legal memo that Trump used to show cause for termination.
              Trump had to wait a couple months until the Senate confirmation of Rosenstein. But once the confirmation came thru things moved fast.

              Trump picked Rosenstein for the job when he said he was looking for the guy who would be his Bobby Kennedy and Sessions was not up to it.

    2. Tony, Mother Nature has delivered a Pandemic and Financial Crisis both at the same time. By November we will be deep in recession. Perhaps you’d like to name the last president who won reelection in recession?

    3. the Dem party primary is fake anyhow especially in Illinois

      fake but important, in places like Chicago, where they will get 90% of the votes in the general election

      as usual the advantage goes to the strong and in social context that usually means, better organized team

  7. Turley Tells About Troll Case Collapse..

    But Fails To Mention Flynn Pardon

    President Trump said Sunday that he is “strongly considering” a full pardon for his former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

    “So now it is reported that, after destroying his life & the life of his wonderful family (and many others also), the FBI, working in conjunction with the Justice Department, has ‘lost’ the records of General Michael Flynn,” he tweeted.

    “How convenient. I am strongly considering a Full Pardon!” he added. 

    Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. The special counsel recommended Flynn be sentenced between zero and six months because of his “substantial assistance” during the investigation.

    Flynn unexpectedly fired his Covington & Burling lawyers in June of 2019, leading some to suggest he was setting up for a pardon from the president, who has praised his new lawyer.

    Edited from: “Trump Strongly Considering Pardon Of Flynn”

    The Hill, 3/15/20

  8. Is it too much to ask a law professor to quit misrepresenting the Mueller Report conclusions? If more evidence was needed to show what a Trump tool the professor has become, this lie – in line with the president’s lies – confirms it.

    The Report specifically did not find there was no collusion.

    “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” Mueller said. But: “We did not address ‘collusion,’ which is not a legal term. Rather, we focused on whether the evidence was sufficient to charge any member of the campaign with taking part in a criminal conspiracy. It was not.”

    The Mueller Report specifically did not “clear” the Trump campaign of criminal conspiracy but rather stated it did not evidence to pursue that charge.

    “[a] statement that the investigation did not establish particular facts does not mean there was no evidence of those facts.” Mueller also wrote:

    the “investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts.”

    and:

    “…Mueller wrote about numerous instances in which witnesses lied or withheld information, deleted communications and used encrypted messaging applications. Other practical obstacles prevented Mueller from completing his investigation, including some witnesses’ refusal to answer questions on the basis of their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, other legal privileges and the inability to obtain evidence located overseas.

    In an important but somewhat overlooked passage, the Mueller report states that in light of these “identified gaps,” in the evidence, “the Office cannot rule out the possibility that the unavailable information would shed additional light on (or cast in a new light) the events described in the report.”

    https://www.justsecurity.org/64679/did-trump-and-his-team-successfully-obstruct-muellers-investigation/

    1. Book, before the Coronavirus outbreak, Trump’s entire agenda was focused on discrediting The Mueller Probe and Impeachment. And it appears that Turley is still pursuing that agenda. What’s more, Turley is clearly on record as ‘good friend’s with William Barr.

      One can easily guess why Turley waited weeks to acknowledge the Coronavirus. The virus became an irritating distraction to the agenda of Trump loyalists.

      1. For anyone who cares for facts, JT is damaging his reputation which is supposedly for even handed non-partisan analysis. When you pick up an obvious partisan lie and keep repeating it, there is no other explanation than that he is a pretender to that non-partisan label, and a liar to boot. He knows “no collusion” is a lie or it goes to his competency.

    2. Is it too much to ask a law professor to quit misrepresenting the Mueller Report conclusions?

      ‘Misrepresent’ does not mean what you fancy it means.

      1. Absurd, here’s an interesting story this morning. Only 37% of the public believes Trump with regards to the Coronavirus. From NPR..
        …………………………………………
        Americans have little trust in the information they are hearing from President Trump about the novel coronavirus, and their confidence in the federal government’s response to it is declining sharply, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

        Just 46% of Americans now say the federal government is doing enough to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, down from 61% in February.

        Just 37% of Americans now say they had a good amount or a great deal of trust in what they’re hearing from the president, while 60% say they had not very much or no trust at all in what he’s saying.

    3. So the Dingleberry summation is: despite every effort to find any evidence to support the allegations, we conclude the absence of evidence is actually evidence. Brilliant!

  9. The prosecutors need to be investigated and prosecuted for their fraudulent political prosecutions. Lock them up as a lesson to others. First, conduct swat team raids on their home and drag their wives and kids to the front lawn in night clothes or nude.

  10. Collusion? Who with whom? What was said or done on any specific topic that changed one vote?

    1. Agreed. They did not expect the Russian companies to show up at the preliminary hearing. When they did show up and offered evidence that at least one of the accused companies didn’t even exist at the time of the “crime” it was pretty much over for the Mueller prosecution team. They expected to just ram the prosecution through without opposition from the defendants. Instead they were actually required to present evidence that they didn’t have.

  11. This case has been a disaster from the beginning. When Concord showed up in court, it was all over for the DoJ.

  12. The MSM and DNC are discredited groups of haters of America and all Americans

  13. Is anyone surprised with this decsion. Not me. Whose secrets would be revealed? Trump’s.

    1. the secrets ? the secret BS would be exposed by the defense team and so the government tucked tail on its propaganda piece. you guys can’t read between the lines.

      when they say “it affects our national security” often this means “It would expose our dirty tricks”
      that’s why political cases get dropped, when they do. you guys are sad, can’t smell the coffee even when it’s been puked up into your own face.

      1. He asked a legitimate question. Whose secrets?

        Its kinds a funny how you guys think Obama was in full control of everything that happened on his watch

        but trump….
        no not a single thing this administration does can be pinned on Trump

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