Lawyers for an alleged Russian troll farm indicted by US special counsel Robert Mueller filed a vociferous motion to dismiss Thursday, arguing that the Mueller hasn’t actually come up with an allegation amounting to a crime.
In cartoonish style that is perhaps on par with the cartoonish Russiagate charade, the lawyers wrote in summary to Mueller’s latest revised indictment: “WRONG ANSWER: Concord has consistently argued that the Indictment charges no crime at all (interference with an election), but to the extent it purports to charge a crime the essential element of willfulness is fatally absent. The Special Counsel’s retort has been that he was not required to charge willfulness because he did not charge violations of FECA or FARA. Now, in mind-bending, intergalactic, whiplash fashion, he says for the first time, I did, I did, I charged violations of FECA and FARA.* Reminiscent of the old adage, ‘Give a man enough rope and he will hang himself,’ the special counsel just did so.”
FECA and FARA refer for Federal Election Campaign Act and Foreign Agents Registration Act, respectively.
Attorneys representing Concord Management and Consulting LLC initiated their most recent attempt to squash the lawsuit on October 25. The editors at Law & Crime were quick to point out that Tweety Bird’s name was misspelled in a footnote in the court filing but acknowledged the proper citation of the character’s catchphrase. In the citation, the attorneys note that Mueller’s argument “sounds a lot like ‘I did, I did, I taw a puddy tat,'” and include the very lawyerly attribution “Tweetie (1948).”
Mueller’s prosecutors and Concord’s attorneys have been locked in a bitter fight litigating this case, even though many pundits predicted the Russian firm would never appear in court. Eric Dubelier, the lead defense attorney, criticized Mueller’s prosecutors in court for dragging their feet during the presentation of evidence (even though the FBI and Mueller have been collecting evidence since at least midway through 2016).
According to Dubelier, who was characterized by The New Orleans Advocate in an article as “Local boy makes trouble: Outspoken lawyer for Russian firm indicted in Mueller probe has New Orleans roots,” Mueller’s subordinates are engaging in bad-faith tactics to prop up their “make-believe crime.” In one instance, Mueller’s prosecutors told a federal judge that the defense hung up during a phone conference — an assertion Dubelier condemned as “bulls**t,” The Advocate reported in May.
The charges against the trolls “absolutely have nothing to do with any links or coordination between any candidate and the Russian government,” Dubelier and the defense team previously wrote in a court filing. However, for Mueller to “justify his own existence, the special counsel has to indict a Russian — any Russian.”
“The special counsel cobbles together disparate allegations in the indictment to try to meet what is needed [for conspiracy]… a showing that Concord or the other Defendants owed statutorily-mandated FECA reporting or FARA registration duties, and knew those statutes and duties existed and what they required. The flaws in that effort, however, are apparent,” the motion to dismiss reads.
The lawyers argue that it was impossible for Concord, which allegedly financed troll efforts on social media, to violate FARA and FECA laws for a pretty simple reason: they didn’t know these extremely obscure legal statutes existed, let alone intend to violate them.
Most normal citizens have little to no idea what FARA and FECA disclosure requirements consist of, so the prosecutor must demonstrate that Concord wittingly violated these laws or “the indictment is defective,” the document noted.
“As the special counsel would have it, any two persons, domestic or foreign, are in violation of a § 371 [conspiracy] if they engage in any speech that is repeated in any format in the United States that appears to advocate for the position of another foreign person unless they have registered under FARA.” The attorneys describe Mueller’s positions as “equally dangerous and ridiculous.”
Concord further blasted Mueller’s argument as a “never-before-imagined, make-believe… conspiracy.”