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Mueller issues grand jury subpoenas to Trump adviser’s social media consultant

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller has issued two subpoenas to a social media skilled who labored for longtime Donald Trump adviser Roger Stone through the 2016 presidential election marketing campaign.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller departs after briefing the U.S. House Intelligence Committee on his investigation of potential collusion between Russia and the Trump marketing campaign on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 20, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

The subpoenas have been delivered late final week to attorneys representing Jason Sullivan, a social media and Twitter specialist Stone employed to work for an impartial political motion committee he arrange to assist Trump, Knut Johnson, a lawyer for Sullivan, informed Reuters on Tuesday.

The subpoenas counsel that Mueller, who’s probing Russian meddling within the 2016 U.S. presidential election, is focusing partially on Stone and whether or not he might need had advance information of fabric allegedly hacked by Russian intelligence and despatched to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who printed it.

Stone appeared earlier than the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee final September and denied allegations of collusion between the president’s associates and Russia through the election. “I am aware of no evidence whatsoever of collusion by the Russian state or anyone in the Trump campaign,” Stone informed reporters on the time.

According to sources aware of the continuing investigation, Mueller additionally has been probing whether or not anybody related to the Trump marketing campaign might have helped Assange or the Russians time or goal the discharge of hacked emails and different social media selling Trump or vital of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

A spokesman for Mueller declined to remark. Russia has denied interfering within the election. President Trump has repeatedly denied his marketing campaign colluded with Russia.

Sullivan informed Reuters that he heads Cyphoon.com, a social media agency, and “worked on the Trump campaign serving as Chief Strategist directly to Roger J. Stone Jr.”

“Welcome To The Age of Weaponized Social Media,” stated a method doc Sullivan ready 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.”

    For instance, at 6:43 a.m. native time on Election Day in 2016, Trump tweeted, “TODAY WE MAKE AMERICAN GREAT AGAIN”. Trump’s message quickly was retweeted greater than 343,000 instances, and in an interview final 12 months, Sullivan informed Reuters that the swarm helped overcome a surge in pro-Clinton social media postings and increase voter turnout for Trump.

Stone on Tuesday repeated his public denials that he had an inside observe to WikiLeaks or others who hacked or printed Democratic Party and Clinton-related emails and stated nobody from Mueller’s workforce has tried to contact him.

One of the 2 subpoenas delivered final week requests that Sullivan seem earlier than a grand jury on May 18 on the Federal Courthouse in Washington, D.C. The different orders Sullivan to deliver paperwork, objects and electronically saved info.

Reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by John Walcott and James Dalgleish

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