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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Lawyering Up

For John, BLUFThis is an interesting development.  I wonder if the Special Counsel war gamed this?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

The move could be a gambit to obtain evidence from the U.S. and force a public trial without putting individuals at risk of prison.

From Politico, by Mr Josh Gerstein, 11 April 2018.

Here is the lede plus three:

A Russian company criminally charged with interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election formally notified a federal judge Wednesday that it has retained U.S. attorneys — a move that could be a bid to gain access to evidence that special counsel Robert Mueller's office gathered in preparing the case.

Two Washington-area attorneys — Eric Dubelier and Kate Seikaly of law firm Reed Smith — filed official appearances on behalf of Concord Management and Consulting.

The firm is one of three companies and 13 individuals charged in a February grand jury indictment with using social media and various agents in the U.S. to foment political and social discord here before and after the 2016 election through a St. Petersburg-based enterprise known as the Internet Research Agency.

When the criminal case was filed, many legal experts predicted it would lie dormant indefinitely and never go to trial because none of the defendants were likely to set foot in the U.S. or in a country from which they could be readily extradited. However, no individual is required to appear on behalf of a corporate defendant, other than a lawyer for the company.

The thing about giving corporations personhood is that they, the corporation, can go to court.  Here is how University of Michigan law professor David Uhlmann, a former Justice Department official puts it:
A corporation under U.S. law enjoys personhood status and is entitled to many of the same procedural protections as individuals, including the right to counsel and the right to trial by jury.  A corporate criminal defendant also has the same right to obtain discovery of the case against it.
Maybe the Government will drop the case, just to avoid having to disclose what they know, including exculpatory information.  It is an interesting move.

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

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