While You Were Focusing on Coronavirus Charges in the 2016 Russian Interference Case Were Dropped

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

By Emiene Wright

March 18, 2020

The trial against two Russian companies was scheduled for April 6, but federal prosecutors requested the charges be dismissed, indicating some of the evidence would threaten U.S. intelligence.

Amidst the current pandemic, you might have missed an important moment that happened Monday night. Citing an unspecified “change in the balance of the government’s proof due to a classification determination,” the U.S. Department of Justice dropped its prosecution of two Russian companies tied to “Putin’s chef,” which allegedly interfered in the 2016 presidential election. 

The dismissal came just weeks before the case was set to go to trial on April 6.

Federal prosecutors sent a nine-page filing with sealed documents after hours, requesting the charges be dropped against companies owned by catering mogul and military contractor Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The public filing had few details, but implied that disclosing some of the evidence would expose U.S. intelligence capabilities. 

“The government has concluded that further proceedings as to Concord, a Russian company with no presence in the United States and no exposure to meaningful punishment in the event of a conviction, promotes neither the interests of justice nor the nation’s security,” prosecutors wrote.

President Donald Trump appeared pleased with the outcome, retweeting a comment about the developments late Monday night: “How embarrassing for Team Mueller.”


CATEGORIES: Law and Order


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