politics

Russian Company's Lawyer Plays Hardball in Mueller Investigation

Robert Mueller is seen as he leaves the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., on June 20, 2017.

Photographer: Zach Gibson/Bloomberg

The lawyer representing a firm controlled by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian caterer nicknamed “Putin’s chef” because of his close ties to President Vladimir Putin, is going on the offensive as he defends his client against charges brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Yevgeny Prigozhin

Photographer: Mikhail Metzel\TASS via Getty Images

Eric Dubelier of Reed Smith, who represents Concord Management and Consulting LLC, has posed dozens of questions to Mueller’s prosecutors, demanding detailed information about how prosecutors built their case and the identity of all witnesses and cooperators.

According to a filing Friday in federal court in Washington, Dubelier even wants prosecutors to catalog U.S. efforts to influence foreign elections around the world since 1945.

Concord was one of three Russian companies, along with 13 Russian nationals, charged by Mueller in February with conspiracy and fraud related to Russia’s alleged attempts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Prosecutors alleged that some of the Russians posed as U.S. citizens and used polarizing social media messages to meddle in the election.

Prosecutors on Friday told the judge overseeing the case that Dubelier has refused to confirm whether Concord has been served with a summons. Without confirmation, they said, there’s no guarantee that Concord will accept the court’s jurisdiction and abide by the federal rules of procedure that apply in the U.S. Prosecutors said they want an order from the judge as to whether Concord was properly served before they start turning over evidence.

Previous attempts to get the Russian government to help deliver the summons to Saint Petersburg-based Concord Management have failed, prosecutors said, adding that they want Dubelier to inform the court by May 25 whether Concord was served.

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