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Trial in Russian troll farm case set for April 2020

by Ace Damon
Trial in Russian troll farm case set for April 2020

On Friday, a federal judge set the trial start date for Concord Management and Consulting, a Russian company accused of interfering in the 2016 US elections.

The trial will begin on April 6, 2020, US District Judge Dabney Friedrich wrote in a scheduling order issued by a Washington, DC federal court.

Concord is among several Russian entities and nationals accused as a result of the criminal investigation of the 2016 US Department of Justice elections.

Federal prosecutors allege that Concord funded and oversaw the operations of the Internet Research Agency, a Russian "troll farm" accused of interfering with social media elections.

Internet Research Agency employees ran social media accounts during the race, used to conduct what the company internally called an "information war against the United States," according to the Justice Department. Prosecutors say the accounts organized political rallies in the US and published derogatory content for former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during what the government considered a broad-based attack by Russia against various elements of the US electoral system and Clinton's campaign.

The Justice Department set aside a charge in early 2018 on charges of criminal conspiracy against Concord and the Internet Research Agency, as well as its alleged mentor, Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, a related company and several others involved in its operations. .

US attorneys representing Concord pleaded not guilty to all charges on behalf of the company in May 2018.

A total of 34 individuals and entities were charged criminally as a result of the Justice Department's investigation into the 2016 election, led by former special attorney Robert Mueller and lasted nearly two years before ending last March.

Other defendants as a result of Mueller's investigation include several former Trump election campaign members, as well as the president's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, and the president's former national security consultant, Michael Flynn. Cohen pleads guilty and is in prison, and Flynn pleads guilty and is awaiting sentencing.

Concord will not be the next defendant in the special lawyer investigation to be tried. The actions of Roger Stone, a former Trump-nominated campaign advisor, are scheduled to begin next month in DC. He was charged with obstruction of justice, violation of witnesses and perjury and pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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