Since an appeals court decision on Tuesday offered a few hints about the grand jury case believed to be linked to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, independent reports on Tuesday night and Wednesday offered additional clues about the unnamed international company fighting a subpoena.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the company is a “foreign financial institution.” CNN followed with a story Wednesday reporting that law firm Alston & Bird, which has represented Russian oligarchs and entities in the past, is involved in the case.
These reports came after the Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to overturn an appellate ruling in the matter that ordered the firm — which is owned by an unknown foreign government — to comply with the subpoena and pay a fine at the rate of $50,000 per day of noncompliance.
Following the Supreme Court’s move, the appeals court made its opinion upholding the subpoena public. The document revealed that the subpoena was served to the U.S. office of a foreign company and that prosecutors alleged the company did “considerable business” in the U.S.
The law firm linked to the case by CNN, Alston & Bird, has lobbied on behalf of Russian oligarch and alleged Manafort paymaster Oleg Deripaska, and took hundreds of thousands of dollars from him for visa work. The firm also represented global PR company Ketchum Inc., which hired Alston & Bird to “provide advisory services to Ketchum, Inc. for the Russian Federation,” CNN reported. Ketchum released the Russian government as a client in 2015, amid controversy over its work for Moscow.
Alston & Bird also represented Natalia Potanina, the ex-wife of Vladimir Potanin, one of Russia’s richest oligarchs. The firm helped Potanina in seeking access to numerous U.S. assets that Potanin supposedly owned as part of reaching a Russian divorce settlement.
A partner at Alston & Bird that CNN identified as working on the case, Ted Kang, listed “representing numerous entities and individuals in connection with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election” on his company website. The other partner — Brian Boone — focuses on appellate work.
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