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U.S. district judge in Russia probe case criticizes attorney as ‘unprofessional’

January 7, 2019 11:20 PM
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WASHINGTON—A federal judge on Monday reprimanded an attorney for a Russian company accused of interfering in the 2016 presidential election, saying his references to Looney Tunes and Animal House in recent court filings are inappropriate.

U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich confronted attorney Eric Dubelier after his most recent court filing included quotes from the raunchy 1978 comedy Animal House to criticize special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

“I’ll say it plain and simply: Knock it off,” the judge told Dubelier. The judge’s reprimand prompted a heated back-and-forth in which Dubelier accused Friedrich of bias.

Dubelier has mounted a combative defence of Concord Management and Consulting LLC, which Mueller has accused of funding a large-scale Russian conspiracy to use internet trolls and fake social media accounts to sway American public opinion during the 2016 election. The case was the first brought by Mueller to directly attach criminal charges to Russian attempts to interfere in the election. Prosecutors say those efforts were in part aimed at helping Donald Trump defeat Hillary Clinton.

Dubelier has dismissed the case as involving a “made up” crime and accused prosecutors of misconduct.

Dubelier’s past court filings have quoted the movie Casablanca and the Looney Tunes character Tweety Bird to slam Mueller. In his latest complaint, Dubelier insinuated in a court filing that Mueller’s team had improperly obtained information that his client shared with a court-appointed attorney.

Mueller’s team denied any impropriety. But Dubelier scoffed, using a quote for emphasis from character Eric “Otter” Stratton, one of the leaders of the fictional Delta Tau Chi fraternity in Animal House.


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