Mueller: Files Given to Russian Firm Were Leaked Online

His office says hackers tried to discredit probe
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2019 4:21 AM CST
Mueller: Hackers Leaked Files to Discredit Russia Probe
In this Aug. 9, 2016 photo, businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin gestures as he attends a summit meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Konstantin palace outside St. Petersburg, Russia.   (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

Robert Mueller's office says materials it provided to the defense team of a Russian company ended up being altered and leaked online as part of a disinformation campaign to discredit his investigation. In a court filing Wednesday, the office said more than 1,000 files posted in October by a pro-Russia Twitter account had markings unique to materials shared with the defense team of indicted company Concord Management and Consulting, Politico reports. The company, controlled by Vladimir Putin ally Yevgeny Prigozhin, is accused of spreading disinformation on social media during the 2016 election. It was indicted last year in connection with a notorious Russian "troll farm."

Prosecutors say most of the files released by the @HackingRedstone account were unrelated "junk material," and those related to the investigation were mostly non-sensitive "images of political memes from Facebook and other social media," the AP reports. The Twitter account claimed it had hacked a Russian server and gained access to the "Mueller probe's database," though prosecutors say the FBI found no evidence that the special counsel's office had been hacked, reports the Washington Post. In Wednesday's filing, Mueller's office argued that sending new evidence to Russia, as Concord's lawyers have requested, "unreasonably risks" national security interests. (In a filing last month, Concord said the evidence includes a "nude selfie.")

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