Robert Mueller is getting dragged through the mud by a veteran Justice Department attorney representing a Russian company indicted by the special counsel's office on a "make-believe crime," according to the Washington Times.
The attorney, Eric A. Dubelier, spent eight years prosecuting cases as a Justice Department assistant US attorney based out of D.C. before going into private practice for the law firm Reed Smith. Dubelier refers to his former employer as "the real Justice Department," with the implication being that Mueller and his team of "13 angry Democrats" as President Trump calls them - are not.
In his representation of Russian restaurant company Concord Management and Consulting, which stands accused of supporting a Russian "troll farm" known as the Internet Research Agency, Dubelier has accused Mueller of violating the confidentiality of Concord's counter evidence, while refusing to provide documents Concord requires to defend itself.
Concord is accused of an elaborate conspiracy with another Russian operation, the Internet Research Agency. The indictment accuses Concord of providing the troll farm $1.2 million monthly to defraud the U.S. The two firms set up fake personas and false Twitter accounts, Facebook ads and other social media posts mostly to disparage Hillary Clinton and support Donald Trump. -Washington Times
The prosecutor wants to "whisper secrets to the judge," said Dubelier, who added that Mueller is only considering the "short-term political value of a conviction," and not concerned with the case holding up in appeals court years down the road.
The veteran DOJ attorney didn't stop there - resurrecting a botched case headed up by Mueller's top prosecutor, Andrew Weissmann as an example of the special counsel team's incompetence.
Mr. Weissmann headed the Justice Department’s Enron task force nearly two decades ago. He won a conviction against the accounting firm Arthur Andersen for shredding the defunct energy firm’s financial documents.
Years later, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously reversed the conviction. The 2005 decision effectively said that Andersen, by then out of business and its 28,000 employees gone, hadn’t committed a crime. -Washington Times
"Mr. Dubelier is exactly right on Mr. Mueller’s motives and tactics," says Sidney Powell, author of the book "License to Lie," which exposes decades of Justice Department scandals. "His lieutenant Weissmann is the poster boy for prosecutorial misconduct and has no regard for the facts or the law. He will make up whatever he wants to win, and the entire like-minded team views as an accomplishment everyone whose life they destroy in pursuit of their objective."
When Mueller indicted Concord as one of three Russian companies and 13 individuals, nobody expected anybody to actually show up to court 5,000 miles away to defend themselves. Concord did - which took Mueller by surprise. The special counsel's first move upon Concord's entrance to the case was to request a delay, suggesting that because Concord was not properly served with the complaint, the court should deny their right to an initial appearance - as well as the ability to view Mueller's evidence against them. US District Judge Dabney L. Friedrich didn't buy it and the case was ordered to continue.
Dubelier also defended the use of fake personas and false Twitter accounts during the 2016 US election, arguing in an Oct. 15 hearing that "When it comes to political speech, one is free to pretend to be whomever he or she wants to be and to say whatever he or she wants to say."
"That’s why in this case this special counsel made up a crime to fit the facts that they have," Dubelier added. "And that’s the fundamental danger with the entire special counsel concept: that they operate outside the parameters of the Department of Justice in a way that is absolutely inconsistent with the consistent behavior of the Department of Justice in these cases for the past 30 years."
Judge Friedrich refused to dismiss the case on that premise, but Dubelier wasn't done - turning next to the ongoing battle over Concord's ability to view "sensitive" evidence that Mueller won't allow into the Russian company's hands due the the owner's ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"This equates to the burden of preparing for trial without any ability to discuss the evidence with the client who is to be put on trial," said a frustrated Dubelier. "This has never happened before in reported case law because the notion is too ludicrous to contemplate."
The special counsel is keeping most relevant information between himself and Judge Friedrich, excluding Mr. Dubelier.
Why no probe of dossier writer?
Mr. Mueller won the argument over “sensitive” material. He now wants to hold closed sessions with the judge over classified information — again, without Mr. Dubelier.
Mr. Dubelier responded in a Dec. 27 filing: “The Special Counsel has made up a crime that has never been prosecuted before in the history of the United States, and now seeks to make up secret procedures for communicating ex parte [meaning no defense counsel present] to the court which have never been employed in any reported criminal case not involving classified discovery.”
The defense attorney admitted his motion is “likely fruitless” because Judge Friedrich previously has ruled against Concord. -Washington Times
Last summer after Judge Friedrich approved the use of a "firewall counsel" to review evidence for national security concerns, an exasperated Dubelier said he submitted evidence to said firewall lawyer only to see it fall into the hands of Mueller's team, which then used it to investigate Concord further.
"Surely a remarkable coincidence," said Dubelier.
Another question raised by the defense is the question of why isn't former UK spy Christopher Steele - who the Democrats paid to assemble an anti-Trump opposition research dossier, being investigated by the DOJ for election interference just like the Russians?
Steele failed to register under the Justice Department's Foreign Agent Registration Act - a law which Mueller has brought charges against several defendants, including Concord. Friedrich also rejected Dubelier's argument of "selective prosecution."
Mueller's counter-argument revolves around the notion that Concord's owner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, is a criminal fugitive who interfered in the US election and is therefore not entitled to view sensitive national security information which he would undoubtedly pass along to the Kremlin.
"Disclosure of such information could cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security," said Mueller.
In June, Friedrich ruled that Prigozhin is prohibited from viewing non-classified sensitive information which would reveal the US government's sources and methods of collection evidence, after Mueller's team argued: "Discovery in this case contains sensitive information about investigative techniques and cooperating witnesses that goes well beyond the information that will be disclosed at trial … Information within this case’s discovery identifies sources, methods, and techniques used to identify the foreign actors behind these interference operations … the government has particularized concerns about discovery in this case being disclosed to Russian intelligence services."
Mueller claims that as long as Prigozhin - a sanctioned and indicted individual, remains in Russia - he is not entitled to view the sensitive evidence.