Foreign efforts to interfere in U.S. elections are still going on just five months before the midterm elections, special counsel Robert Mueller told a judge on Tuesday. Mueller made the assertion in a filing in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., in his prosecution of 13 Russian nationals and three companies who were indicted in February on charges including interference in the 2016 presidential election. It says the government believes foreign “individuals and entities” are continuing to “engage in interference operations like those charged in the present indictment.” The filing seeks to protect evidence requested by one of the companies, Concord Management and Consulting LLC, which provides food services at the Kremlin and is run by Yevgeny Prigozhin, who prosecutors allege is close to Russian President Vladimir Putin and has had “extensive dealings” with the Russian Defense Ministry.
Attorneys for Concord Management say they need the evidence gathered by government investigators to help with their defense, and they have objected to stringent secrecy measures Mueller’s team has proposed — restrictions that would bar Concord from sharing the evidence with Prigozhin or any of the other co-defendants unless they first appear in court.
So far, only Concord Management has appeared in court, having pleaded not guilty last month. Prigozhin, 12 other Russian nationals and the two other companies — Concord Catering and the Internet Research Agency, which prosecutors describe as a Russian online “troll farm” — have yet to make court appearances.