Federal prosecutors said Wednesday that confidential discovery material provided to a Russian company accused by Special Counsel Robert Mueller of being a troll farm was stolen, altered and made public on social media "as part of a disinformation campaign" to discredit Mueller's Russia investigation.
Prosecutors made the claim in an 18-page filing in federal court in Washington arguing that representatives of Concord Management and Consulting LLC should not be permitted to view additional sensitive evidence outside of the United States because it "unreasonably risks the national security interests of the United States." Specifically, the Mueller team claims that the evidence in question "identifies uncharged individuals and entities that the government believes are continuing to engage in operations that interfere with lawful U.S. government functions". The evidence also allegedly identifies "sources, methods, and techniques used to identify the foreign actors behind these interference operations."
Concord Management and Consulting is one of three Russian companies indicted by a federal grand jury in February 2018 for allegedly interfering in the 2016 presidential election through "information warfare." The company pleaded not guilty in May.
Prosecutors allege that on Oct. 22, a "newly created" Twitter account, @HackingRedstone, tweeted, "We've got access to the Special Counsel Mueller’s probe database as we hacked Russian server with info from the Russian troll case Concord LLC v. Mueller. You can view all the files Mueller had about the [Internet Research Agency] and Russian collusion. Enjoy the reading!” The tweet included a link to a webpage that contained file folder names and folder structure matching the material Mueller produced.
The Internet Research Agency is another Russian company indicted last February. Prosecutors say it employed hundreds of individuals for online information warfare operations and had an annual budget equaling millions of U.S. dollars.
The Mueller team said that of the 300,000 files on the webpage, more than 1,000 matched the files given to Concord in discovery. Prosecutors added that the FBI had found no evidence the discovery files were hacked from U.S. government computer servers.
The government also said that the webpage "contained numerous irrelevant files" and suggested that whoever posted the material "used their knowledge of the non-sensitive discovery to make it appear as though the irrelevant files ... were the sum total evidence of '[Internet Research Agency] and Russian collusion' gathered by law enforcement in this matter in an apparent effort to discredit the investigation."
A lawyer for Concord did not immediately comment.
Fox News' Catherine Herridge and Jake Gibson contributed to this report.