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The Last Argument from Mueller Is Nothing More Than Another Fake
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Photo: fbi.gov

The Last Argument from Mueller Is Nothing More Than Another Fake

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WASHINGTON, DC - February 2, 2019

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s so-called investigation of “Russian meddling” has hit a dry well yet again. Mueller is trying by any means possible to prevent the indicted Russian firm Concord Management from its right to a fair, open and public determination of its case, stating that simply trusting him, that everything is just peachy is absolutely sufficient.

Concord’s lawyers were previously restricted from sharing what Mueller’s office called “sensitive” information with contacts back in Russia, under a protective order set by U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich.

On October 15, during hearings in a U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. Judge Friedrich sided with Mueller on restricting the sharing of prosecution evidence with Russian defendants.

Judge Friedrich basically granted Mueller’s protective order request and said that the firm’s legal team would need to get her permission to share discovery with Concord’s executive Evgeny Prigozhin or anyone else who wasn’t allowed access in her protective order. To facilitate this process, she appointed a firewall counsel for Concord’s legal team to alert if it was seeking to share the materials. That firewall counsel would then alert the judge if the government had national security concerns about releasing the materials.

Since the entry of the protective order, the Special Counsel has produced nearly 4 million documents, 3.2 million of which it has designated as “sensitive.” Based upon what has been disclosed to date, this allegedly “sensitive” discovery includes a massive amount of irrelevant data ranging from promotional emails for airlines to personal correspondence, even including personal naked selfie photographs, according to a court filing.

In 2018, Mueller requested that the discovery shared with Concord Management’s legal team not be shared with anyone else, including Prigozhin, who was also charged by Mueller.

Lawyer Eric Dubelier pushed back, saying that discovery is a fundamental right accorded to all defendants in all criminal cases and there is no “Russian Exception” to this right, which belongs to the defendant, not to defense counsel.

“Here, the Special Counsel ignores the obvious fact that ‘any consultation with counsel is rendered meaningless unless the defendants and their attorneys have an opportunity to review the evidence.’ United States v. Medina, 628 F. Supp. 2d 52, 54 (D.D.C. 2009),” Concord’s lawyers Eric A. Dubelier and Katherine Seikaly wrote in their motion for approval to disclose discovery pursuant to protective order.

“Despite this fact, in the eight months since Concord voluntarily appeared to defend itself the Court has prohibited defense counsel from sharing or discussing with the Defendant unilaterally-designated ‘sensitive’ discovery produced by the Office of Special Counsel. The Special Counsel has explicitly acknowledged that none of the discovery is classified. Moreover, the allegedly ‘sensitive’ discovery appears to have been collected exclusively through the use of criminal subpoenas, search warrants, and orders issued pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 2703, as opposed to any classified collection method,” Dubelier emphasized.

On January 4, Concord’s lawyers submitted another reply in support of its motion to compel discovery from the United States.

“Defendant respectfully requests that the Court order the Special Counsel’s Office to provide the requested discovery,” it reads.

The Special Counsel has not explained to defense counsel the reason for the designation of any particular document or category of documents, nor has he explained why — with non-classified material — defense counsel should not have access to his secret communications with the court. The position of the court and the Special Counsel creates an insuperable obstacle to defense counsel preparing for trial.

At the same time, according to Concord Management, a week after the one and only time its lawyers communicated with the firewall counsel as part of that system, Mueller’s team took an unspecified “investigative action” that Concord believes was based on the confidential information it had provided the firewall counsel, USA Really wrote. The firewall counsel has denied communicating to the Special Counsel, so Concord Management is now requesting that the judge order Mueller to explain how his team learned of the information.

However after it became evident that there are no legal or any other reasons to deny Concord the access to the information which the Special Counsel classified “for reasons of national security,” Mueller’s high-priced legal brain-trust did what they can do perfectly: They started fabricating evidence.

There are many typical methods Mueller has used to build his case. First and foremost is a grand jury investigation. The "biggest, most important and most effective tool" that comes with it is the grand jury subpoena, said former federal prosecutor Gene Rossi.

With a grand jury subpoena, Mueller can obtain physical evidence, such as documents, memos, handwritten notes or audio recordings, or he can request testimony.

Another tool Mueller can use is interviewing witnesses. A third way Mueller can gather evidence is through a wire tap. In special cases, especially those involving potential national security risks, Mueller can obtain search warrants through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, a law that allows physical and electronic surveillance of foreign agents or powers, said a former Justice Department official who trained several of Mueller's aides.

With FISA power, Mueller can monitor correspondence, such as emails and text messages, between persons of interest in real time, provided the communications aren't encrypted.

Other investigation tactics can include getting standard search warrants, obtaining a court order to view a suspicious party's tax returns, or sending undercover officers or cooperators to gather evidence in the field, former DOJ agent said.

The biggest thing for prosecutors, especially in white-collar cases, is a paper trail. That paper trail usually consists of bank records, emails and text messages. Investigators can subpoena phone records, but to actually read emails or texts they need a search warrant, which requires probable cause.

When such a variety of tools is given to the Special Counsel, we should be able to expect convincing evidence. Instead, all we got is another round of baseless suspicions and allegations.

On Wednesday, Mueller filed a document named “Government’s opposition to defendant’s motion for approval to disclose discovery pursuant to protective order”.

Last October “one or more actors made statements claiming to have a stolen copy of discovery produced by the government in this case,” according to the document.

“On October 22, 2018, the newly created Twitter account @HackingRedstone published the following tweet: ‘We’ve got access to the Special Counsel Mueller’s probe database as we hacked Russian server with info from the Russian troll case Concord LLC v. Mueller. You can view all the files Mueller had about the IRA and Russian collusion. Enjoy the reading!’ The tweet also included a link to a webpage located on an online file-sharing portal. This webpage contained file folders with names and folder structures that are unique to the names and structures of materials (including tracking numbers assigned by the Special Counsel’s Office) produced by the government in discovery. The FBI’s initial review of the over 300,000 files from the website has found that the unique ‘hashtag’ values of over 1,000 files on the website matched the hashtag values of files produced in discovery. Furthermore, the FBI’s ongoing review has found no evidence that U.S. government servers, including servers used by the Special Counsel’s Office, fell victim to any computer intrusion involving the discovery files.”

Over and over again, the timing is so obvious and looks like a rushed job. What a coincidence that the @HackingRedstone Twitter account, was created four days after hearings in the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. when Judge Friedrich had sided with Mueller on restricting the sharing of prosecution evidence with Russian defendants.

According to court filing, “A representative of the online file-sharing portal has confirmed to the FBI that the specific account used to publish the matching discovery materials was registered on October 19, 2018 by a user with an IP address that resolves to Russia.”

Mueller tried to convince the U.S. District Court that Concord’s legal firm Reed Smith first uploaded the classified discovery information then granted access to a Concord employee in Russia, who downloaded it and stored it on a Russian server. Some “Russian hacker” got access to Concord’s servers and stole all of the 300,000 files. Then HackingRedstone, a user with a Russian IP (of course!), registered its account on the online file-sharing portal, uploads the stolen database, then registered his @HackingRedstone Twitter account (it would also be interesting to see the phone number that was used for registration, however we all now know how easy it is to buy and use fake identities), and published his tweet, but first reached out to a CNN reporter in a private message.

According to CNN, the message reads: “‘We are anonymous hackers. We are like hundreds of others, but we are the one and only who got the Special Counsel Mueller database,’ the message from @HackingRedstone read. ‘We got into a Russian lawyer company local net that had permission from ReedSmith (Russian attorneys) to view and download all the files they need from their database through the remove server. You might wonder why we want to share all of this information with you. So, you're just one of the few who can handle it in the right way. You are the one who can tell people the truth!’"

What “Russian lawyer company” are they referring to? Another mystery from Mueller? It’s notable that no other Concord information was interesting for HackingRedstone, otherwise they’d share it as well to support that they really took it from Concord. Of course, the week-old Twitter account, @HackingRedstone, which was attached to an IP address in Russia has since been shuttered.

Mueller’s story smells quite bad given that we saw the same scenario last September with similar “Russian accounts”.

As USA Really wrote, “researchers” from the Campaign for Accountability constructed fake online profiles explicitly designed to raise red flags inside Google’s AdWords program. Using burner phones purchased in Panama, the organization created a Russian email account on the popular email client Yandex. Then, using a virtual private network, the CfA changed its IP address to appear as if the account were based in St. Petersburg, the site of the Internet Research Agency. Using the Russian IP address and email account, the organization created a Russian Google AdWords account.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller used this last argument from @HackingRedstone in order to deny the indicted Russian firm from studying the discoveries. What is Mueller afraid of? The U.S. government said that “the subsequent investigation has revealed that certain non-sensitive discovery materials in the defense’s possession appear to have been altered and disseminated as part of a disinformation campaign aimed (apparently) at discrediting ongoing investigations into Russian interference in the U.S. political system.”

Prosecutors said that action establishes “a use of the non-sensitive discovery in this case in a manner inconsistent with the terms of the protective order,” demonstrating “the risks of permitting sensitive discovery to reside outside the confines of the United States.”

“First, the sensitive discovery identifies uncharged individuals and entities that the government believes are continuing to engage in operations that interfere with lawful U.S. government functions like those activities charged in the indictment,” the document reads.

“The government has never sought to bar court-approved individual officers and employees of Concord from reviewing sensitive discovery materials in the United States offices of Reed Smith under the security protections established by the court’s protective order,” Mueller said in the brief, adding that “indeed, the government does not oppose such a review even by indicted officers and employees of Concord, as their appearance in the United States would allow them to stand trial.”

Obviously Mueller is lying once again and veering away from Justice Department standards to find a way to bring charges against Russian defendants. Despite what he said in the brief, he’s asking the court to restrict Concord’s lawyers from sharing information with the firm’s executive officers. “For the reasons stated above, the government respectfully requests that the Court deny Concord’s motion regarding sensitive discovery,” the government’s opposition reads.

It’s no surprise at all that there aren’t very many Americans that feel confident that Special Counselor Robert Mueller can turn in an “even-handed” report by the time he concludes his investigation into phony “Russian interference” in the 2016 election, according to a recent poll.

It’ also worth recalling that on July 16, during the press conference at the U.S.-Russia summit in Helsinki, Putin said Russia would allow the Special Counsel to "send an official request" to the Kremlin to question the 12 Russians charged with crimes related to “election meddling” just three days earlier by Mueller.

Trump said Putin "offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators with respect to the 12 people. I think that’s an incredible offer."

Needless to say, Mueller will never use this opportunity to bring forth his “evidence” or question indicted Russian nationals because all he need is to keep the drama going in this theater of the absurd.

Author: USA Really