WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A lawyer representing a Russian company charged with funding a propaganda operation to meddle within the 2016 U.S. presidential election accused Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office of delays in handing over evidence at a testy listening to on Wednesday.
The lawyer for Concord Management and Consulting LLC traded barbs with prosecutors on the federal court docket listening to over points starting from the dealing with of evidence to accusations by prosecutors that protection attorneys hung up on the federal government after a nine-minute cellphone name final Friday.
“Any suggestion in that regard is absolutely false – it is demonstrably false,” protection lawyer Eric Dubelier stated. “I resent the implication that the special prosecutor made in court that I would hang up the phone on somebody. I didn’t do it.”
Concord is certainly one of three firms and 13 Russian people indicted in February in what prosecutors say was an elaborate scheme to sow discord within the U.S. political system through the use of false personas to push divisive messages over social media and staging political rallies.
Prosecutors have charged Concord with funding the operation, and alleged the company is managed by Russian businessman Evgeny Prigozhin, who can be charged individually within the case and is named “Putin’s cook” as a result of his catering enterprise has organized banquets for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Prosecutors say the propaganda operation was designed to assist help President Donald Trump’s 2016 marketing campaign and disparage Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. Russia denies meddling within the election and Trump denies any collusion between his marketing campaign and Moscow.
Concord has pleaded not responsible and Dubelier stated he anticipated to search to have the case dismissed on grounds together with claims that the case is unconstitutional, fails to cost a criminal offense and incorporates due course of violations.
The authorities disclosed on the listening to it had collected almost two terabytes value of social media profiles as evidence.
An estimated 310,000 pictures or 17,000 hours of music might match into one terabyte alone, in accordance to a weblog submit by an IT skilled and professor on the University of Oregon.
Dubelier complained that no evidence has been turned over, and stated the social media information was largely in Russian and irrelevant to his consumer’s case. He stated his consumer had nothing to do with the creation of the social media profiles and was not related to particular person defendants within the case.
“I anticipate that we’re going to get this massive dump of social media stuff that’s in Russian,” Dubelier stated.
Prosecutor Jeannie Rhee disputed that assertion, saying it was “not irrelevant material.”
The subsequent listening to within the case was scheduled for June 15.
Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Peter Cooney