Feds Push Back on Indicted Russian Firm’s Info Request

WASHINGTON (CN) – Accusing the company’s defense team of trying to get a preview of the government’s case, prosecutors on Monday urged a federal judge to deny a request for more information by a firm accused of funding the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. 

Attorneys Eric Dubelier, second from right, and Katherine Seikaly, second from left, representing Concord Management and Consulting LLC, walk out of federal court in Washington, D.C., on May 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller last year, Concord Management and Consulting faces conspiracy charges for allegedly funding the social media troll farms that were part of the Kremlin’s efforts to sow political discord in the United States and swing the 2016 presidential election in President Donald Trump’s favor.  

Concord earlier this month asked a federal judge to turn over information about unindicted co-conspirators mentioned in the indictment and the specific social media accounts they allegedly controlled, as well as definitions of certain terms key in the case.

The company’s defense team said the information would help its trial preparation efforts against the “vague and overly general” allegations in the indictment.

But in an 11-page reply Monday, federal prosecutors said the request, known as a “bill of particulars,” is little more than an attempt to peek into the case the government is building against Concord.

Noting such requests are not simply an alternative form of discovery in criminal cases, the brief urges U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich to deny Concord’s motion. 

“Concord’s motion seeks information that is not appropriate to a bill of particulars, including the identification of particular items of evidence and the means by which the government will prove its case,” the brief states. “Moreover, much of the information sought by Concord has already been provided elsewhere – in discovery, in the government’s opposition to Concord’s motion to dismiss count one and in other parts of the indictment itself.” 

Prosecutors say they have already provided some of the information Concord requested in its motion through the normal discovery process and that courts have long denied similar requests that the government provide the identities of unindicted co-conspirators. They further say the phrases Concord seeks to have defined are either not vague or are defined in the indictment itself.

Concord has been waging a months-long war over access to information in the case, particularly objecting to a protective order Judge Friedrich entered that requires a third-party attorney to review some types of evidence before Concord’s attorneys can share it with their client.

The Justice Department announced Friday that Mueller had completed his investigation, but the filing in the Concord case on Monday bears the signatures of two attorneys with the special counsel’s office alongside those of three Washington, D.C., prosecutors and an attorney with the Justice Department’s National Security Division.  

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