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.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is taking responsibility for authorizing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to remain in charge of the Russia investigation, and detailed the process by which former FBI Director James Comey was fired. The comments come amid criticism from Republicans for the Justice Department’s decision to keep Rosenstein in charge of the special counsel investigation into Russian election meddling in 2016, and any possible collusion with President Donald Trump’s campaign. Sessions said in an interview released Thursday that he was the one who made the decision to recommend to Trump that he fire Comey, not Rosenstein — and that therefore Rosenstein isn’t disqualified from his role in the Russia investigation. “That decision … really fell to me, ultimately, on the Comey matter,” Sessions, who recused himself from the Russia investigation, told Hill.TV’s “Rising.” “And that’s not a disqualifying thing.”