Robert Mueller subpoenas former Donald Trump aide, who says he’ll ignore it
Washington: Long-time Donald Trump associate Sam Nunberg said on Monday that he doesn’t plan to cooperate with a subpoena from special counsel Robert Mueller requesting him to appear before a grand jury investigating Russian interference in the 2016 elections.
“They want me in there for grand jury on Friday. I’m not paying the money to go down there,” Nunberg said in an interview with Bloomberg News. “What’s he going to do? He’s so tough—let’s see what they do. I’m not going to spend 40 hours going over emails. I have a life.”
Nunberg was also asked to turn over emails, texts and other communications with 10 campaign associates, including Trump, former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and outgoing White House communications director Hope Hicks starting in November 2015 and running through the present, according to a subpoena dated 27 February that was obtained by Bloomberg News.
The subpoena also seeks his communications with several former Trump aides, including onetime strategist Steve Bannon and former Oval Office operations director Keith Schiller, as well as former campaign advisers Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Carter Page and Roger Stone. Mueller is also seeking Nunberg’s emails with longtime Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.
Nunberg said he expects one line of questioning before the grand jury to be related to Stone, who Nunberg worked with closely over the years.
“I’m not going to cooperate with Mueller. It’s a fishing expedition,” Nunberg said. “They want me in there for a grand jury for testimony about Roger Stone. He didn’t do anything. What is he going to do? His investigation is BS. Trump did not collude with Putin. It’s a joke.”
But Nunberg said in a separate interview with MSNBC that he thinks Mueller may have assembled some damaging evidence against Trump. “I think that he may have done something during the election,” Nunberg said. He then added, “I don’t know that for sure.”
If Nunberg defies the subpoena to testify before the grand jury, Mueller could ask the court to immediately issue a warrant for his arrest. Mueller also could seek to charge Nunberg with obstruction of justice.
Stone said he wasn’t surprised to hear that Mueller would request his communications related to Trump since the pair have a relationship going back decades.
“I was briefly part of the Trump campaign and have been the president’s friend and adviser for decades, and would expect that Mueller’s team would at some point ask for any documents or emails sent or written by me,” Stone said. “But let me reiterate, I have no knowledge or involvement in Russian collusion or any other inappropriate act.”
Stone hasn’t met with Mueller’s team or been subpoenaed by them, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Nunberg was on Trump’s payroll from mid-2011 to August 2015 when he was fired from Trump’s campaign in the early days after Business Insider published a story about his racially charged Facebook posts. In July 2016, Trump sued him for violating a confidentiality agreement. The suit was dropped the following month.
Nunberg was scheduled to be interviewed on 22 February by Mueller.
Another possible line of questioning could be related to Trump’s activities in Moscow in 2013 during the Miss Universe pageant, which the president once owned. The book by author Michael Wolff, “Fire and Fury,” quotes Nunberg extensively describing the early months of the Trump administration. Wolff said the former adviser was “generally regarded as the man who understood Trump’s whims and impulses best” and a Bannon associate. Mueller’s team interviewed Bannon earlier this month.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said again Monday that Trump is cooperating with Mueller’s probe, but she dismissed questions about Nunberg.
“I’m not going to weigh in on somebody that doesn’t work at the White House,” she told reporters. Bloomberg
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