Judge Edges Closer To Holding Russian Firm In Contempt In Zombie Mueller Case

UNITED STATES - AUGUST 23: E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

The Justice Department questioned on Monday whether a Russian firm accused of election meddling was even participating in the case prosecutors brought against it.

At a hearing Monday morning on a DOJ request that the firm be held in contempt for not complying with a trial subpoena, Adam Jed — a veteran of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team — suggested that the upcoming trial might need to be delayed, because the Justice Department did not want be in a position of “the rug” being pulled out from under it.

The concerns echo the skepticism observers have had about the case, which was never expected to see a courtroom when Mueller unveiled in February 2018 an indictment of several Russian individuals and entities for allegedly interfering with the 2016 election over social media.

But, in a surprise move, a defendant entity called Concord Management lawyered up with American attorneys and for nearly two years has been aggressively fighting the charges.

The current dispute centers on the refusal by the Concord’s lawyers to confirm on the public record that the firm has fully complied with a handful of subpoenas issued ahead of the trial, where jury selection is slated to begin April 1.

At Monday’s hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich did not seem interested in delaying the trial, but agreed that Concord needed to be more upfront about whether it’s actively participating in the case.

“Concord needs to do that now,” she said.

Concord attorney Eric Dubelier appeared visibly offended by the prosecutors’ claims.

While claiming he wasn’t going to go after Jed because he was a “young guy” who has only been a prosecutor for a year, Dubelier attacked his arguments as “bogus” and “ridiculous.”

(Jed worked in the DOJ’s appellate section for several years before joining Mueller’s team in 2017.)

Dubelier also lashed out at the judge for her handling of the subpoena dispute, which he said was “completely unfair.”

Dubelier accused the judge of using a “tone” with him that suggests he was “doing something sneaky or wrong.”

When she suggested that the evidence suggested there was a “strong likelihood” that Concord had not fully complied with the subpoena, he shot back that “you don’t know anything about the company.”

For now, she’s giving Concord Management until Wednesday evening to submit an affidavit from a company representative in charge of record keeping that explains what steps the company took to comply with the subpoenas and why it hadn’t produced all the documents the U.S. government says it has.

The documents in question are financial records, communication, calendar entries, and information about the company’s IP address that the government has suggested would show its links to the Russian operation behind the 2016 election-related social media posts.

Latest News

Notable Replies

  1. Ah c’mon, you know you want to. Just do it already!

  2. When she (the judge) suggested that the evidence suggested there was a “strong likelihood” that Concord had not fully complied with the subpoena, he shot back that “you don’t know anything about the company.”

    Judge: Well yes, that’s because they haven’t come within 3000 miles of this courtroom.

  3. When will the Coverup Barr, Co-Conspirator in Ukrainegate, take over the case?

    Putin’s Chef = IRA Troll Farmer and more…
    He also runs Wagner one of the largest mercenary private military groups in Russia,"

  4. Avatar for spin spin says:

    Eric A. Dubelier , Concord’s lawyer, works for a major lawfirm, Reed Smith. She is a real douche. Has no issue lying.

    And since his partners will not reign him in, the Court should make him personally sign and approve every filing, upon pain of discipline and referral to the bar.

    That he has been allowed to go on so long, and in such a shameful way, is only because the Judge is a Trumpie.

  5. It is a really bad idea for a lawyer to say things like that to a judge in their courtroom…most judges would thrash any lawyer that was that disrespectful. It sure sounds like the lawyers are covering up for the company…the real question is why this entire thing is going on, it’s pretty nonsensical.

Continue the discussion at forums.talkingpointsmemo.com

12 more replies


Avatar for discobot Avatar for paulw Avatar for ncsteve Avatar for epicurus Avatar for drriddle Avatar for hagarwood Avatar for ignoreland Avatar for kitty Avatar for commanderogg Avatar for pshah Avatar for noonm Avatar for michaelryerson Avatar for tpr Avatar for spin Avatar for frankkirkwood Avatar for occamscoin Avatar for txlawyer

Continue Discussion
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: