Special Counsel Robert Mueller is scrambling to limit pretrial evidence handed over to a Russian company he indicted in February over alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, according to Bloomberg.
Mueller asked a Washington federal Judge for a protective order that would prevent the delivery of copious evidence to lawyers for Concord Management and Consulting, LLC, one of three Russian firms and 13 Russian nationals. The indictment accuses the firm of producing propaganda, pretending to be U.S. activists online and posting political content on social media in order to sow discord among American voters.
The special counsel’s office argues that the risk of the evidence leaking or falling into the hands of foreign intelligence services, especially Russia, would assist the Kremlin’s active “interference operations” against the United States.
“The substance of the government’s evidence identifies uncharged individuals and entities that the government believes are continuing to engage in interference operations like those charged in the present indictment,” prosecutors wrote.
Improper disclosure would tip foreign intelligence services about how the U.S. operates, which would “allow foreign actors to learn of those techniques and adjust their conduct, thus undermining ongoing and future national security operations,” according to the filing.
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The evidence includes thousands of documents involving U.S. residents not charged with crimes who prosecutors say were unwittingly recruited by Russian defendants and co-conspirators to engage in political activity in the U.S., prosecutors wrote. –Bloomberg