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Lawyers for Russian oligarch, Republicans now involved in possible Mueller mystery case: Report

Key Points
  • The law firm Alston & Bird is involved in an effort by a mysterious foreign-owned company to avoid complying with a subpoena believed to be related to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, a new report says.
  • The firm in the past has represented Russian interests and the Republican Party in a fight over Hillary Clinton's emails.
  • The Supreme Court is weighing whether to allow the unidentified company to continue to challenge a grand jury subpoena that is believed to be connected to Mueller's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election that sent Donald Trump to the White House.
Then-FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in 2013.
Tom Williams | CQ Roll Call | Getty Images

A Washington, D.C., law firm that has represented Russian interests and the Republican Party in a fight over Hillary Clinton's emails now is involved in an effort by a mysterious foreign-owned company to avoid complying with a subpoena believed to be related to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, a report Wednesday said.

Lawyers from the high-powered firm Alston & Bird have been spotted in recent months at federal court in Washington headed into or out of hearings for the subpoena case, which were closed to the public, CNN reported. The report came a day after The Washington Post reported that the unnamed company in the case is a foreign financial institution.

It is not known if Alston & Bird is representing the company, the country that owns it or regulators for the country, according to the story.

Very few documents related to the case are publicly available.

The Supreme Court now is considering whether to let the company continue to challenge lower court rulings that it must comply with a grand jury subpoena that is believed to be connected to Mueller's probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

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On Tuesday, the Supreme Court reinstated a federal judge's order imposing contempt-of-court fines of $50,000 per day on the company for failing to comply with the subpoena's demand for information.

Alston & Bird, whose lawyers did not respond to a request for comment from CNBC, previously represented Russian oligarch Oleg Depripaska, who is known to have loaned President Donald Trump's former campaign chief Paul Manafort $10 million. Manafort is awaiting sentencing on criminal charges lodged by Mueller related to his work for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine.

Alston & Bird also has done legal work for a Russian government contractor, CNN noted.

CNN's report said that two of the firm's lawyers, Ted Kang and Brian Boone, in October were seen in court for a hearing in the subpoena case with members of Mueller's team.

Kang, who previously served as a prosecutor for the criminal division of the Justice Department, has represented "numerous entities and individuals in connection with" Mueller's investigation, according to his profile page on Alston & Bird's website.

Alston & Bird in 2016 represented the Republican National Committee in the RNC's effort to obtain emails from the State Department sent to and from former Secretary of State Clinton and her aides.

The mystery company in the ongoing subpoena fight case, according to court records, has claimed immunity from the subpoena under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. The company also says the subpoena is "unreasonable and oppressive" because it would require the company to violate the law of the country that owns it.