An attempt by special counselor Robert Mueller to harangue a number of Russian companies and individuals for allegedly interfering in the 2016 presidential election appears to be backfiring “bigly.”
On Friday the special counselor’s office sought to delay its first court hearing on the matter out of what appeared to be anxiety.
When Mueller indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities in February, he assumed his foreign-based targets would simply ignore any future court proceedings since they clearly live outside his jurisdiction, according to Politico. He assumed wrong.
Last month a team of Washington lawyers reportedly appeared out of nowhere and notified the court that they represent Concord Management and Consulting, one of the companies targeted by Mueller.
The move was reportedly designed “to force Mueller’s team to turn over relevant evidence to the Russian firm and perhaps even to bait prosecutors into an embarrassing dismissal in order to avoid disclosing sensitive information.”
And apparently the move seems to be working, judging by the special counsel’s desperate bid Friday to force a delay in the case.
Mueller’s team claimed otherwise, arguing in court Friday that the Russian entities affected by his “witch hunt” had not yet received their summons because of, ironically enough, stonewalling by the Russian government.
“The [U.S.] government has attempted service of the summonses by delivering copies of them to the Office of the Prosecutor General of Russia, to be delivered to the defendants,” Mueller’s team reportedly said.
“That office, however, declined to accept the summonses. The government has submitted service requests to the Russian government pursuant to a mutual legal assistance treaty. To the government’s knowledge, no further steps have been taken within Russia to effectuate service.”
Uh huh …
What’s telling is that in their request for a delay, Mueller’s team included Concord Management’s requests for relevant evidence.
“Until the Court has an opportunity to determine if Concord was properly served, it would be inadvisable to conduct an initial appearance and arraignment at which important rights will be communicated and a plea entertained,” his team whined.
“That is especially true in the context of this case, which involves a foreign corporate defendant, controlled by another, individual foreign defendant, that has already demanded production of sensitive intelligence gathering, national security, and foreign affairs information.”
I smell fear, and it smells a lot like a delicious steak covered in onions, barbecue sauce and the tears of special counsel Robert Mueller.
Mueller’s latest humiliation occurred on the same day that a federal judge chewed out his team for lying about the scope of its investigation and seeking “unfettered power.”
“You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort!” U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III roared in anger. “You really care about what information Mr. Manafort can give you to lead you to Mr. Trump and an impeachment, or whatever.”
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