US prosecutors from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team are seeking to delay the first court hearing in the case against Russians charged with tampering in the the 2016 vote, local media said.
The US Justice Department published an indictment last February alleging that three Russian firms and 13 people had used fake personas to influence the presidential election’s outcome in Donald Trump’s favor.
The Mueller team wants to postpone the hearing because it is not sure whether the businesses – the Internet Research Agency (IRA), Concord Management and Consulting, and Concord Catering – accepted the court summons, according to Politico.
The prosecutors were also disquieted by the emergence of lawyers, representing Concord Management, who requested relevant evidence, which the publication said included sensitive data related to national security and foreign affairs.
Earlier this year, Robert Mueller’s team questioned Russian businessman billionaire Viktor Vekselberg in New York, according to media reports.
FBI agents approached Vekselberg at the airport as he arrived on a private plane, searched his electronic devices, and asked a series of questions, the New York Times reported on Friday citing sources familiar with the matter.
The report did not specify whether the FBI was looking into any violations committed by Vekselberg, who attended the inauguration of US President Donald Trump in January 2017.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been investigating claims of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US elections and allegations concerning collusion between Moscow and Trump’s campaign. Moscow has repeatedly denied interfering, calling the claims “absurd.” As for Donald Trump, he has repeatedly denied colluding with the Kremlin, calling Mueller’s probe a “witch hunt.”