effort to protect government sources and investigative methods, Justice
Department prosecutors will drop charges against two Russian companies, Concord
Management and Concord Consulting, indicted by former Special Counsel Robert
Mueller for financing operations behind interference in the 2016 presidential
The two companies, along with Internet Research Agency and a cadre of 13
leveraged social media to sow division and influence the 2016 presidential
election, with some of the activity intended to bolster then presidential
candidate Donald Trump and erode support for his opponent former Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton, according to a 37-page indictment filed
by the Mueller team in February 2018.
“The conspiracy had as its object impairing, obstructing and defeating
the lawful governmental functions of the United States by dishonest means in
order to enable the defendants to interfere with U.S. political and electoral
process, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election,” the indictment read.
The Justice Department’s move comes a month before the case is supposed to go to trial and in a motion to dismiss filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia acknowledged Concord’s concerted efforts to get the case dropped.
“In short, Concord has demonstrated
its intent to reap the benefits of the Court’s jurisdiction while positioning itself
to evade any real obligations or responsibility,” the filing read.
Prosecutors noted due “the risk of
exposure of law enforcement’s tools and techniques, and the post-indictment
change in the proof available at trial, the balance of equities has shifted. It
is no longer in the best interests of justice or the country’s national
security to continue this prosecution.