Mueller asks court to protect evidence from Russians in case against 'Putin's chef'

Mueller asks court to protect evidence from Russians in case against 'Putin's chef'
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Attorneys for special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE want a judge to limit how much evidence can be shared with a defendant accused of aiding Russia's ongoing election interference efforts, arguing that such a disclosure could aid Russian intelligence.

The Associated Press reports that lawyers on Mueller's team asked a judge on Tuesday to impose limits on the information that can be shared between defense attorneys and Yevgeny Prigozhin, a wealthy Russian businessman charged in Mueller's probe of 2016 Russian election meddling efforts.

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According to the court filings, evidence sought by Prigozhin's attorneys include the names of individuals thought to be part of the election interference effort who have yet to be charged by Mueller's team.

“The substance of the government’s evidence identifies uncharged individuals and entities that the government believes are continuing to engage in interference operations like those charged in the present indictment,” the prosecutors wrote.

Prigozhin, who has not personally appeared in court, is accused alongside his company, Concord Management and Consulting LLC, of providing millions of dollars to a St. Petersberg-based "troll farm" that Mueller's attorneys say used stolen American identities to spread discord and false information in swing states before the election.

The Russian businessman is referred to as "Putin's chef," due to his ownership of restaurants frequented by Russia's leader.

Concord, through attorney Eric Dubelier, pled not guilty to one count of defrauding the U.S. government. It is the only Russian entity to respond to the charges filed by Mueller's team earlier this year.

Prosecutors argue that Prigozhin is not entitled to the disclosures from his lawyers until he personally appears in court.

“As long as Prigozhin chooses not to appear personally in front of this Court, he is not entitled to review any discovery in this case,” they wrote.

Attorneys for Concord did not comment on Tuesday's filing, but will have time to respond in court filings.