Russia: U.S. drops charges against accused IRA sponsor over concerns Russia would weaponize evidence | Jeff Stone/CyberScoop
U.S. prosecutors said on Monday they would drop criminal charges against two Russian firms accused of funding disinformation efforts ahead of the 2016 election, amid concerns that the companies would weaponize evidence in the trial to boost future operations. The U.S. Department of Justice charged the two companies, Concord Management and Concord Consulting, in 2018 as part of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Both shell firms funded Russian efforts to use social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to divide public opinion in the U.S., prosecutors said. With a trial set to begin April 6, though, prosecutors filed a motion to dismiss the charges. The abrupt change came after U.S. attorneys complained in prior court filings they would need to provide the defendants with some details about the U.S. government’s sources and methods for its national security investigation. Justice Department officials had expressed trepidation over whether Concord would release or somehow use details about its intelligence-collection for the defendants’ own gain, according to the New York Times.Full Article: U.S. drops charges against accused IRA sponsor over concerns Russia would weaponize evidence.