Russian Firm in Election Hacking Case Loses Bid to Check Mueller

(Bloomberg) -- Concord Management and Consulting LLC, the Russian company accused of bankrolling efforts to interfere in the U.S. presidential election in 2016 using social media, lost its bid for additional discovery to bolster its claim that it has been unfairly targeted simply for being from Russia.

Concord had sought documents to back up its claim that it was treated worse than international law firm Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, which recently settled an investigation into its failure to register as a foreign lobbyist for Ukraine. Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether there was any coordination with President Donald Trump’s campaign, fought the move.

Concord -- run by Yevgeny Prigozhin, known as “Putin’s chef” because Russian President Vladimir Putin has hosted dinners at his restaurants -- was indicted in 2018, alleged to have conspired with two other Russian businesses and 13 individuals to defraud the U.S. government. The firm previously lost another bid against Mueller claiming Concord was targeted “for being Russian,” as its lawyer, Eric Dubelier, argued.

“The misconduct ascribed to Skadden in the declination letter is not similar in nature or scope to the conspiracy charged here,” Judge Dabney Friedrich wrote Wednesday in her ruling. “Concord has presented no new evidence to support its previous claim that the Special Counsel is prosecuting Concord because of its Russian nationality.”

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