Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Justice Department prosecutors on Monday filed a motion to dismiss charges against the shell companies accused of financing the Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll farm that engaged in a social media disinformation scheme to interfere in the 2016 election.

The big picture: Prosecutors claim that the Russians were essentially able to evade accountability and punishment while taking advantage of the discovery process to potentially harm U.S. national security.

Context: The shell companies, Concord Management and Concord Consulting, were charged by special counsel Robert Mueller in 2018 along with 13 Russian individuals and the troll farm itself — known as the Internet Research Agency. The scheme, outlined in the 2018 indictment and again in the Mueller report, sought to sow political discord ahead of the 2016 election.

Details: The Concord companies sought to fight the indictment in court, unlike the other Russians charged by Mueller. In doing so, prosecutors say they were able to "obtain discovery" from the U.S. government regarding its efforts to "detect and deter foreign election interference" — while also ignoring court-issued subpoenas.

  • "In short, Concord has demonstrated its intent to reap the benefits of the Court’s jurisdiction while positioning itself to evade any real obligations or responsibility," prosecutors argued in the filing.
  • "It is no longer in the best interests of justice or the country’s national security to continue this prosecution."

Read the filing.

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The Trump campaign website briefly went down and its "About" page was modified after hackers attacked the site Tuesday evening.

The big picture: With just seven days before the election, the hackers emulated the FBI and declared on the "About" page that: "this was seized. the world has had enough of the fake-news spreaded [sic] daily by president donald j trump. it is time to allow the world to know truth." Two addresses linked to the cryptocurrency Monero appeared on the site. Trump campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh in a statement said no sensitive data had been exposed in the attack.

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