Sunday, May 6, 2018

Putin 1, Mueller 0. Federal judge rejects Mueller move to delay first hearing in criminal case against Russian company named in troll farm indictment. Attorneys say Mueller attempts to postpone are 'pettifoggery,' will see him May 9-Politico, 5/4/18....(Discovery: Defense asks Mueller for list from 1945 to present of every instance of US gov. personnel interfering with elections in a foreign country)

Mueller's office acknowledges that Concord attorneys filed notice of appearance on April 11, 2018: page 19 of 27, scribd. The attorneys decline Mueller's request to delay first court hearing. Mueller wasted valuable time on the clock of US taxpayers by attempting to deliver summonses for a Russian company to the Russian government (where they were declined).

5/4/18, "Judge rejects Mueller's request for delay in Russian troll farm case," Politico, Josh Gerstein, 6:56pm

"A federal judge has rejected special counsel Robert Mueller’s request to delay the first court hearing in a criminal case charging three Russian companies and 13 Russian citizens with using social media and other means to foment strife among Americans in advance of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

In a brief order Saturday evening, U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich offered no explanation for her decision to deny a request prosecutors made Friday to put off the scheduled Wednesday arraignment for Concord Management and Consulting, one of the three firms charged in the case.

The 13 people charged in the high-profile indictment in February are considered unlikely to ever appear in a U.S. court. The three businesses accused of facilitating the alleged Russian troll farm operation — the Internet Research Agency, Concord Management, and Concord Catering — were also expected to simply ignore the American criminal proceedings. 

Last month [April], however, a pair of Washington-area lawyers suddenly surfaced in the case, notifying the court that they represent Concord Management....

On Friday, Mueller’s prosecutors disclosed that Concord’s attorneys, Eric Dubelier and Kate Seikaly, had made a slew of discovery requests demanding nonpublic details about the case and the investigation. Prosecutors also asked a judge to postpone the formal arraignment of Concord Management set for next week....
The prosecution team sought the delay on the grounds that it’s unclear whether Concord Management formally accepted the court summons related to the case  Mueller’s prosecutors also revealed that they tried to deliver the summonses for Concord and IRA through the Russian government, without success.

“The [U.S.] government has attempted service of the summonses by delivering copies of them to the Office of the Prosecutor General of Russia, to be delivered to the defendants,” prosecutors wrote. “That office, however, declined to accept the summonses. 

The [US] government has submitted service requests to the Russian government pursuant to a mutual legal assistance treaty. To the government’s knowledge, no further steps have been taken within Russia to effectuate service.”

Mueller’s team sent a copy of the formal summons to Dubelier and Seikaly and asked them to accept it on behalf of Concord Management, but Dubelier wrote back on Monday saying that the government’s attempt to serve the summons was defective under court rules. He did not elaborate....

In their request on Friday to put off the arraignment, prosecutors included the extensive demands for information that the lawyers for Concord Management have set forth since they stepped forward last month....
The Mueller team proposed that both sides file briefs in the coming weeks on the issues of whether Concord has been properly served. 

In a blunt response Saturday morning, Concord's attorneys accused Mueller's team of ignoring the court's rules and suggesting a special procedure for the Russian firm without any supporting legal authority.

"Defendant voluntarily appeared through counsel as provided for in [federal rules], and further intends to enter a plea of not guilty. Defendant has not sought a limited appearance nor has it moved to quash the summons. As such, the briefing sought by the Special Counsel’s motion is pettifoggery," Dubelier and Seikaly wrote. 

The Concord lawyers said Mueller's attorneys were seeking "to usurp the scheduling authority of the Court" by waiting until Friday afternoon to try to delay a proceeding scheduled for next Wednesday. Dubelier and Seikaly complained that the special counsel's office has not replied at all to Concord's discovery requests. The lawyers, who work for Pittsburgh-based law firm Reed Smith, also signaled Concord intends to assert its speedy trial rights, putting more pressure on the special counsel's office to turn over records related to the case.

Friedrich, a Trump appointee based in Washington, sided with Concord and said the arraignment will proceed as scheduled Wednesday afternoon."...


Added: Mueller's office acknowledges that Concord attorneys filed notice of appearance in April 11, 2018: page 19 of 27, scribd

"On April 11, 2018, you each filed a notice of appearance in the criminal case United States v.  Internet Research Agency LLC et al., case number 1:18-cr-032 (D.D.C.), as counsel of record for defendant Concord Management and Consulting  LLC (“Concord”). We are writing you to address certain issues in advance of the initial appearance and arraignment scheduled for May 9, 2018 at 1:45 pm."


Added: Defense discovery requests of Mueller include the following:

page 15 of 27, scribd, Attachment B, page 3 of April 11, 2018 letter, (Reed Smith letterhead) from counsel for defendants to SC Mueller:

"As a predicate to motions pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 12, the government is requested to turn over to defense counsel and to disclose:

 1. From 1945 to present, each and every instance where any officer, employee and/or agent of the United States Government engaged in operations to interfere with elections and political processes in any foreign country; including but not limited to information relating to whether any such activity utilized propaganda in any format, including but not limited to the use of social media. This disclosure should include any and all information regarding the use of computer infrastructure inside and outside of the United States, false foreign identities, goals to sow discord in a foreign political system, assistance to a foreign elected official or candidate, attacks on a foreign elected official or candidate, assassination or conspiracy to assassinate a foreign elected official or candidate, buying political advertisements, posing as foreign persons and/or failure to honestly identify to foreign voters the involvement of any officer, employee or agent of the United States Government."

Re: "Motion to continue US v IRA" [Internet Research Agency LLC et al.]

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