Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team is fighting to keep key documents private in its court battle with a Russian company that Mueller has targeted for meddling in the 2016 American elections.
Mueller’s team alleges that past documents shared with the company were altered and then leaked to discredit Mueller’s probe, Fox News reported.
Mueller is taking on Concord Management and Consulting, a Russian company that allegedly funded hacking operations by Russia’s Internet Research Agency, The Guardian reported.
The filing argued that Concord should not be given access to “sensitive” evidence gathered by Mueller’s team.
Sharing such information “unreasonably risks the national security interests of the United States,” the filing said.
The evidence Concord wants to get its hand on “identifies uncharged individuals and entities that the government believes are continuing to engage in operations that interfere with lawful U.S. government functions,” the filing said. Further, it reveals “sources, methods, and techniques used to identify the foreign actors behind these interference operations.”
The filing also noted that once information is shared within Russia, the court cannot limit who sees it and shares it further.
The filing said Concord can’t be trusted because the last time information was shared, this usually routine proceeding backfired.
A since-removed Twitter account, @HackingRedstone, boasted that the files were at a filesharing site for public viewing.
“We’ve got access to the Special Counsel Mueller’s probe database as we hacked Russian server with info from the Russian troll case,” a tweet from the account said. “You can view all the files Mueller had about the IRA and Russian collusion. Enjoy the reading!”
CNN reported that it and other news outlets were encouraged to view the files.
“We are anonymous hackers. We are like hundreds of others, but we are the one and only who got the Special Counsel Mueller database,” a message to reporters read.
“We got into a Russian lawyer company local net that had permission from ReedSmith (Russian attorneys) to view and download all the files they need from their database through the remove server. You might wonder why we want to share all of this information with you. So, you’re just one of the few who can handle it in the right way. You are the one who can tell people the truth!”
But the perspective was distorted, Mueller claimed.
“The person who created the webpage used their knowledge of the non-sensitive discovery to make it appear as though the irrelevant files contained on the webpage were the sum total evidence of ‘IRA and Russian collusion’ gathered by law enforcement in this matter in an apparent effort to discredit the investigation,” the filing said.
Mueller’s team said that an investigation showed the leak did not come from Justice Department sources, which could only mean it was leaked by the Russians.
Reed Smith, the law firm representing Concord, said the company has done nothing wrong.
“We maintain the highest levels of security and protection for all of our systems and their contents,” it said in a statement, according to CNN. “Reed Smith has never hosted or maintained any of the data at issue here produced by the government in the Concord case on Reed Smith computer systems. A third-party vendor has hosted all such data and has assured us that there has been no breach of the database that maintains the data.”
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