- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The Department of Justice said Tuesday that federal prosecutors intend to expand their case against Concord Management and Consulting LLC., the parent company of the Russian “troll farm” accused of interfering in the 2016 U.S. elections.

In a three-page notice entered in D.C. federal court, the Justice Department said the government plans to ask a grand jury to issue a superseding indictment that alleges the company conspired to interfere with “more than one lawful function” of the Federal Election Commission, or FEC.

It would supplant the original indictment brought in 2018 as a result of the federal investigation into Russian election interference undertaken by the special counsel’s office. Unsealed that February, it charged more than a dozen Russian nationals and companies associated with Concord and the “troll farm,” the Internet Research Agency, in connection with allegedly weaponizing American social media platforms to meddle in the U.S. electoral process during the 2016 presidential race.

The new indictment will allege that Concord “not only inspired to interfere with the enforcement of the disclosure requirements set forth in the Federal Election Campaign Act, but that they also conspired to interfere with the related FEC function of enforcing the statutory ban on certain expenditures by foreign nationals,” according to the notice.

The filing was signed by John C. Demers, the assistant attorney general for national security, and Jessie K. Liu, a prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C.

Attorneys for Concord did not immediately return messages seeking their reaction to the announcement.

The FEC declined to comment on the court filing when reached by The Washington Times.

Prosecutors alleged the original indictment that defendants operated fictitious accounts on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to conduct what they referred to as “information warfare against the United States.” Lawyers representing Concord have pleaded not guilty to related counts, and the trial is currently set to start in 2020.

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