The mainstream media appear to be ignoring this, but if you read the latest developments in the US District Court in Washington D.C., I'd say Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his legal team are trying to fight their way out of a box while the walls are closing in on them . . . and it's all their fault.
First, some background.
On February 16, 2018, Special Counsel Robert Mueller obtained a federal indictment of 13 Russian nationals and 3 Russian companies for conspiring to wage “information warfare” by “impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of the United States by dishonest means in order to enable Defendants to interfere with U.S. political processes, including the 2016 presidential election.”
. . .
The indictment was heralded by the media as a major achievement by Team Mueller. But a few observers questioned whether Mueller truly expected any of the defendants to appear in a U.S. court to answer the charges. Others asked if the indictment was merely an empty public relations move by Mueller attempting to show that his investigation was producing solid results.
The answers to these questions have started to emerge. Against all expectations, in April, lawyers for one of the Russian corporate defendants, Concord Management and Consulting, LLC, entered their appearances in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. They followed up by serving extensive discovery requests on Team Mueller seeking full disclosure of the government’s case and investigation including sensitive national security and intelligence information.
. . .
At the arraignment, Concord’s lead counsel, Eric Dubelier, was asked whether he represents Concord Catering, another one of the charged Russian companies. He replied that he did not and added, “I think we’re dealing with the government having indicted the proverbial ham sandwich. That company didn’t exist as a legal entity during the time period alleged by the government.” [Emphasis added]
Then, hinting at more of the graymail yet to come, he remarked darkly that, “We now know that the special counsel apparently has access to [Concord’s] confidential filings at the Office of Foreign Assets Control, which in and of itself is a disturbing fact.”
Dubelier stated, “Your Honor, we waive formal reading of the indictment. We enter a plea of not guilty. We exercise our right to a speedy trial.” [Emphasis added]
. . .
This is a no lose situation for Concord and a self-inflicted wound for Mueller. And, as the saying goes, self-inflicted wounds are always the most painful.
There's more at the link. Highly recommended reading.
The special prosecutor filed for delays and gag orders concerning potential evidence. Concord's lawyers filed their response last Friday. They began with this doozy of an opening paragraph.
Having produced not one iota of discovery in this criminal case the unlawfully appointed Special Counsel requests a special and unprecedented blanket protective order covering tens of millions of pages of unclassified discovery. Having made this special request based on a secret submission to the Court and a hysterical dithyramb about the future of the American elections, one would think that the Special Counsel would cite to case holdings that support this remarkable request. But no, instead, the Special Counsel seeks to equate this make-believe electioneering case to others involving international terrorism and major drug trafficking, and relies only on irrelevant dicta from inappropriate, primarily out-of-circuit cases. In short, fake law, which is much more dangerous than fake news.
Ouch! As one Reddit commenter put it, "It’s an extra special touch when your lawyer s***s on another lawyer in such a way that they’re forced to look up the manner in which they’ve been insulted."
I think the Mueller team is caught on the horns of a dilemma here. They appear to have filed a case mainly for its public relations impact; but the targets of their wrath are refusing to roll over and play dead. Instead, they're using the US legal system to insist that Mueller prove his charges, and disclose all the evidence involved. That means he's got to put up, or shut up; prove his case, or withdraw charges - which would be a public relations disaster.
Pass the popcorn. This is going to get seriously entertaining.