Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Wednesday revealed his office is prepared to flood two terabytes of Russian social media content — without any translation — into the court record to comply with a discovery request by one of the defendants in his collusion case.
The government’s lead attorney, Jeannie Sclafani Rhee, confirmed her office had compiled two terabytes of Russian-language social media content and confirmed little of it was translated.
“The government did not translate every single word and doesn’t have to,” she told the court.
The tactic was denounced by Eric Dubelier, the American attorney retained by Concord Management and Consulting — one of the three Russian companies indicted by Mueller last February as part of a broad indictment against 13 Russian individuals in his Russian collusion case. The defendants are accused of “conspiracy to defraud the United States” for interfering in the 2016 presidential election, the indictment said.
“We are most concerned with the release of massive amount of social media in Russian,” Dubelier told U.S. District Court Judge Dabney L. Friedrich, a Trump appointee. “They had five weeks to ramp up on discovery. There has been no, no discovery.”
A terabyte is the equivalent of 1,024 gigabytes of information. Another way to measure the quantity of information is that Mueller’s social media content could fill nearly 1,500 CD-ROMS.
One of Concord’s chief weapons against Mueller has been the Russian company’s request for discovery — the examination of evidence Mueller has collected concerning the charge of Russian collusion. The defense tactic could be used to embarrass Mueller and the U.S. intelligence community, as reported earlier by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Mueller originally filed the indictment as a high profile case to prove Russian collusion to “interfere” with the 2016 election. His only successful case in his investigation into Russian collusion was former Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos’ guilty plea to a single-count indictment.
Mueller’s case against the Russians was “more theater than prosecution,” said former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy, in describing the original indictment.
But Concord, one of the named defendants, hired an American law firm and asked for a “speedy trial” under federal rules. The firm notified the court the Russian company insisted on the right of discovery.
In a related move, Dubelier filed a motion on May 14 in which he told the court he moved “for an in camera inspection of the legal instructions provided to the grand jury regarding Count One of the Indictment.” He said the information could be used “to determine whether the instructions provided could support a motion to dismiss.”
Dubelier also denounced Mueller as illegitimate. He said in the filing that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein “licensed a Special Counsel who for all practical political purposes cannot be fired, to indict a case that has absolutely nothing to do with any links or coordination between any candidate and the Russian Government.”
“The risk here is acute, that is, a foreign corporation with no presence in the United States is indicted in an unprecedented case of a type never before brought by the DOJ for conspiring to defraud the United States purportedly by not complying with certain regulatory requirements that are unknown even to most Americans,” he continued.
The case resumes June 15.
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