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Russian Company Says Mueller Investigation Wrongfully Accused Them of 'Make-Believe Crime'
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15 May 2018 10:46 PM EST

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Robert Mueller (Image source: Screenshot)

 

A Russian company is saying that they are guilty of nothing other than being a Russian company. Concord Management and Consulting LLC says Robert Mueller wrongfully accused them of a "make-believe crime." They claim it was a a political move to "justify his own existence" by indicting "a Russian — any Russian."

The special counsel has been on this case for the past year. Mueller is leading the investigation into the possible collusion of Russia and Donald Trump's campaign to influence the results of the 2016 presidential election.

Earlier this year Mueller's office charged 13 Russian individuals and three entities of criminal and espionage conspiracy. Specifically, Concord faces charges of conspiring to defraud the United States and is accused of controlling funding, recommending personnel and overseeing the activities of the propaganda campaign.

Because they feel they were accused wrongly, Concord is asking a federal judge for access to secret information that a grand jury reviewed before they indicted them. They want to review the instructions that were given to the grand jury, as they don't believe there was enough required evidence to show they knowingly and "willfully" violated the law.

According to the indictment, Russian businessman Yevgeniy Prigozhin, who is said to have ties to Russia's military as well as politics, was controlling Concord. Russian media refer to him as "Putin's cook" because his catering business has  organized banquets for Vladimir Putin and other senior politicians. Prigozhin himself was also charged, as was Concord Catering.

Concord's legal team is claiming that the charge that they conspired to defraud the Unites States was flawed, as it doesn't allege that they intended to do so. They also don't believe a foreign company could possibly have known the intricacies of U.S. federal election and foreign lobbying laws.

"A foreign corporation with no presence in the United States is indicted in an unprecedented case ... for conspiring to defraud the United States purportedly but not complying with certain regulatory requirements that are unknown even to most Americans," stated the lawyers.

Concord pleaded not guilty and are due to appear in court for a status hearing on Wednesday.

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