‘Real Justice Department’ veteran emerges as Mueller’s top courtroom adversary

As reported by WashingtonTimes

A former federal prosecutor has emerged as special counsel Robert Mueller’s most persistent courtroom critic.

It’s not Rudy Giuliani, a former U.S. attorney and now President Trump’s ubiquitous defender, or any of cable TV’s prosecutors-turned-pundits.

He is Eric A. Dubelier, a litigator for the Reed Smith law firm who knows international law and the D.C. playing field. He served eight years prosecuting cases as a Justice Department assistant U.S. attorney in Washington. He refers to his former employer as “the real Justice Department,” implying that Mr. Mueller’s team is something less.

His biting remarks have come in months of court filings and oral arguments. Mr. Dubelier has depicted Mr. Mueller as a rogue prosecutor willfully ignoring Justice Department guidelines.

He has accused Mr. Mueller of creating a “make-believe crime” against his Russian client, Concord Management and Consulting, which is accused of funding a troll farm that interfered in the 2016 election.

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So far, the federal judge presiding over the case has sided with Mr. Mueller.

Mr. Dubelier charges that the Mueller team violated the confidentially of Concord’s counter evidence while hiding documents Concord needs for its defense. The prosecutor wants to “whisper secrets to the judge,” Mr. Dubelier says, as Mr. Mueller is calculating the “short-term political value of a conviction” and not worrying about an appeals court defeat years later.

An example: In a Dec. 20 motion, Mr. Dubelier resurrected a botched case spearheaded by Mr. Mueller’s top prosecutor, Andrew Weissmann.

Mr. Weissmann headed the Justice Department’s Enron task force nearly two decades ago. He won a conviction against the accounting firm Arthur Andersen for shredding the defunct energy firm’s financial documents

Years later, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously reversed the conviction. The 2005 decision effectively said that Andersen, by then out of business and its 28,000 employees gone, hadn’t committed a crime.

“Mr. Dubelier is exactly right on Mr. Mueller’s motives and tactics,” said Sidney Powell, whose book “License to Lie” exposes years of Justice Department scandals. “His lieutenant Weissmann is the poster boy for prosecutorial misconduct and has no regard for the facts or the law. He will make up whatever he wants to win, and the entire like-minded team views as an accomplishment everyone whose life they destroy in pursuit of their objective.”

‘Made up a crime to fit the facts’

Concord Management and Consulting is an unlikely client. Legal observers opined that when Mr. Muellerbrought charges against various Russians who hacked computers and trolled the 2016 election, no defendant would travel the nearly 5,000 miles to show up for trial.

No defendant has personally arrived. But Concord did appear quickly after the February indictment. Of 28 Russian individuals and firms charged with election interference by Mr. Mueller, only Concord has appeared in U.S. District Court, in this instance in the person of the aggressive Mr. Dubelier.

The Washington defense attorney seemed to catch the Mueller team off guard by immediately demanding disclosure of evidence. Disclosure, Mr. Dubelier argues, is a sacred legal right in America, even for the oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, Concord’s chief with close ties to Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Concord is accused of an elaborate conspiracy with another Russian operation, the Internet Research Agency. The indictment accuses Concord of providing the troll farm $1.2 million monthly to defraud the U.S. The two firms set up fake personas and false Twitter accounts, Facebook ads and other social media posts mostly to disparage Hillary Clinton and support Donald Trump.

In a separate case, Mr. Mueller brought charges in July against 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking Democratic computers, stealing emails and funneling them to three websites for distribution.

Mr. Dubelier argues that people are free to create fake accounts. It’s done all the time, he says.

“When it comes to political speech, one is free to pretend to be whomever he or she wants to be and to say whatever he or she wants to say,” he said at an Oct. 15 hearing.

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