Special counsel Robert Mueller lost a round in court Saturday after a judge refused to delay a case that charges three Russian companies and 13 Russian individuals with trying to influence the 2016 presidential election.
U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich did not cite a reason for rejecting a delay in the Wednesday hearing for one of the companies, Concord Management and Consulting, Politico reported.
The company had been fighting Mueller’s attempt to delay the hearing.
In response to the government’s request for a delay, Concord’s attorneys countered by claiming “pettifoggery,” The Daily Mail reported.
‘Defendant voluntarily appeared through counsel as provided for … and further intends to enter a plea of not guilty,” the filing said. “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.”
“I find it disturbing that in your first communication you are already behaving in a manner that is inconsistent with the practices of the Department of Justice,” Eric Dubelier of the law firm Reed Smith, which represents Concord, had written prosecutor Jeannie Rhee, CNN reported.
Indicted Russian Company 'Concord Management' Toying with Mueller Team Led by Clinton Foundation Attorney https://t.co/W8rv67S023
— Jim Hoft (@gatewaypundit) May 6, 2018
Dubelier has been taking an aggressive approach to the case, Bloomberg reported.
He has been seeking information about how Mueller built his case, and has also been seeking information on any American attempt to influence foreign elections.
Prosecutors have said they want a delay until they can establish that Concord was properly served before they share evidence.
The evidence includes electronic surveillance of company employees, The Hill reported.
Concord is controlled by Yevgeny Prigozhin. The caterer is referred to as “Putin’s chef” due to his friendship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
During a Friday hearing Mueller’s team revealed they tried to get summonses to the other companies being charged delivered through the Russian government.
“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 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,” prosecutors wrote.
The indictment, which was released in February, was the first attempt to prove that Russian citizens and companies sought to influence the 2016 presidential election.
The indictment claims that social media ads taken out by the companies and individuals were meant to sway the election.
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