By Jon Dougherty
(TNS) You may recall that hilarious moment during special counsel Robert Mueller’s phony probe into allegations of ‘collusion’ between the 2016 Trump campaign and Mother Russia when he actually indicted a group of 13 Russian firms and individuals.
If not, we’ll refresh your memory. The Justice Department announced in February 2018 that Mueller and his team indicted 12 individuals and one St. Petersburg, Russia-based firm, Concord Management and Consulting which they claimed were all linked to “2016 election meddling” — the same lame accusation for which Mueller would, less than a year later, conclude he couldn’t find any evidence to support.
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Because it was a hoax.
In any event, the always-deep state-compliant New York Times reported:
The Justice Department charged 13 Russians and three companies on Friday in a sprawling indictment that unveiled a sophisticated network designed to subvert the 2016 election and to support the Trump campaign. It stretched from an office in St. Petersburg, Russia, into the social feeds of Americans and ultimately reached the streets of election battleground states.
The Russians stole the identities of American citizens, posed as political activists and used the flash points of immigration, religion and race to manipulate a campaign in which those issues were already particularly divisive, prosecutors said.
Some of the Russians were also in contact with â€œunwitting individuals associated with the Trump campaign,â€ according to court papers. Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel leading the investigation, made no accusation that President Trump or his associates were knowingly part of the conspiracy.
To add to the effect, in July Mueller would indict 12 alleged Russian intelligence agents as well, bringing the total number of “Russians” and “Russian companies” to 25.
At the time, there was uproarious laughter in many conservative circles because a) none of these companies or individuals were alleged to have had anything at all to do with the 2016 Trump campaign; and b) they’reÂ Russians, meaning, there is less than a zero-percent chance they would ever see the inside of a U.S. federal courthouse.
But we were sort of taken aback when one of the indicted firms — Concord Management — hired a U.S. legal team and decided to fight the charges.
At one point, either the St. Petersburg-based firm lost interest or simply stopped cooperating, because it didn’t respond to a subpoena for documents. And now, a federal judge appointed by President Trump and federal prosecutors who ‘inherited’ this bonehead case from Mueller’s Democrat-donor prosecutors are still being forced to deal with it — at taxpayers’ expense.
POLITICO reported Thursday:
U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich in a one-paragraph order sided with federal prosecutors, giving lawyers for the firm Concord Management and Consulting until the end of Friday to explain why their client should not face a civil penalty for missing a deadline to produce documents. Concord is facing charges that it helped fund Russiaâ€™s 2016 election meddling efforts.
The Concord trial â€” scheduled to begin with an initial jury selection hearing on April 1 â€” represents one of the final outstanding threads from Robert Muellerâ€™s Russia probe.
The special counsel filed charges in February 2018 against the St. Petersburg-based company and two other Russian businesses, as well as 13 Russian individuals, claiming that together they financed and organized an army of internet trolls that worked to sow discord among American voters and sway the last presidential campaign in Trumpâ€™s favor.
Only Concord has stepped forward toÂ fight the chargesÂ in court, hiring a U.S.-based law firm to mount its defense.Â
At the time we observed that of course Mueller would indict Russians, because he believed that none of them would ever show up for court.
But alas, Concord did.
AsÂ reportedÂ byÂ The Daily Caller:
Lawyers for Russian company Concord Management and Consulting, LLC, formally entered a â€œnot guiltyâ€ plea in federal court Monday in a case special counsel Robert Mueller probably never thought would happen. â€¦
Mueller may now have to try the case, and Concordâ€™s lawyers have put the special counsel on notice. The Russian companyâ€™s lawyersÂ intend to invoke â€œdiscoveryâ€ to obtain U.S. intelligence about what they knew of Russian activities.
â€œI guess Mueller thought it was a freebie, for sure,â€ former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy toldÂ The Daily Caller News FoundationÂ after the court proceeding.
â€œHe thought it could make this association (of Russian collusion) and it would never be challenged in court,â€ McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor, said.
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Well, obviously the case is moving forward, and equally obvious, Mueller isn’t going to be the one to prosecute it. So what gives? Why is this case still in the system? Why hasn’t it been dismissed, given Mueller’s conclusions in 2019 that ‘no collusion’ existed?
The hoax lives on, and at taxpayer expense.
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