Counsel Robert Mueller departs after briefing the U.S. House
Intelligence Committee on his investigation of potential collusion
between Russia and the Trump campaign on Capitol Hill in
Washington, U.S., June 20, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. BernsteinREUTERS
YOU THINK ROGER STONE USED RIGGED SOCIAL MEDIA, WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE
WHAT FACEBOOK AND GOOGLE DID!!!
(Reuters) - U.S. Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller
has issued two subpoenas to a social media expert who worked for
longtime Donald Trump adviser Roger Stone during the 2016
presidential election campaign.
subpoenas were delivered late last week to lawyers representing
Jason Sullivan, a social media and Twitter specialist Stone hired to
work for an independent political action committee he set up to
support Trump, Knut Johnson, a lawyer for Sullivan, told Reuters on
subpoenas suggest that Mueller, who is probing Russian meddling in
the 2016 U.S. presidential election, is focusing in part on Stone
and whether he might have had advance knowledge of material
allegedly hacked by Russian intelligence and sent to WikiLeaks
founder Julian Assange, who published it.
appeared before the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence
Committee last September and denied allegations of collusion between
the president's associates and Russia during the election. "I am
aware of no evidence whatsoever of collusion by the Russian state or
anyone in the Trump campaign," Stone told reporters at the time.
to sources familiar with the ongoing investigation, Mueller also has
been probing whether anyone associated with the Trump campaign may
have helped Assange or the Russians time or target the release of
hacked emails and other social media promoting Trump or critical of
Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
spokesman for Mueller declined to comment. Russia has denied
interfering in the election. President Trump has repeatedly denied
his campaign colluded with Russia.
told Reuters that he heads Cyphoon.com, a social media firm, and
"worked on the Trump campaign serving as Chief Strategist directly
to Roger J. Stone Jr."
To The Age of Weaponized Social Media," said a strategy document
Sullivan prepared for Stone and seen by Reuters. He
described a "system" he devised for creating
Twitter "swarms" as "an army of sophisticated, hyper-targeted direct
tweet automation systems driven by outcomes-based strategies derived
from REAL-TIME actionable insights."
example, at 6:43 a.m. local time on Election Day in 2016, Trump
tweeted, "TODAY WE MAKE AMERICAN GREAT AGAIN". Trump's message soon
was retweeted more than 343,000 times, and in an interview last
year, Sullivan told Reuters that the swarm helped overcome a surge
in pro-Clinton social media postings and boost voter turnout for
on Tuesday repeated his public denials that he had an inside track
to WikiLeaks or others who hacked or published Democratic Party and
Clinton-related emails and said no one from Mueller's team has tried
to contact him.
of the two subpoenas delivered last week requests that Sullivan
appear before a grand jury on May 18 at the Federal Courthouse in
Washington, D.C. The other orders Sullivan to bring documents,
objects and electronically stored information.
by Mark Hosenball; Editing by John Walcott and James Dalgleish)