A search warrant has been reportedly obtained by the FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller for records of the “inauthentic” Facebook accounts that had been closed earlier this month. These specific Facebook accounts were purchased at the time of 2016 election, these accounts targeted ads.
The Wall Street Journal first disclosed the search warrant on Friday night, CNN confirmed the news later.
A former FBI counterintelligence agent, Asha Rangappa said, “This is big news – and potentially bad news for the Russian election interference ‘deniers.'”
Rangappa who is now an associate dean at Yale Law School, elaborated that in order to obtain a search warrant a prosecutor needs an approval of a judge to believe in crime has been committed. After it, the prosecutor has to prove that information being sought will give evidence of that crime.
She noted that Mueller dis not sought a search warrant to target Facebook as a company instead he would be interested in exploring the specific accounts.
Rangappa said, “The key here, though, is that Mueller clearly already has enough information on these accounts – and their link to a potential crime to justify forcing (Facebook) to give up the info.”
“That means that he has uncovered a great deal of evidence through other avenues of Russian election interference,” she said.
In late July, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted a raid on Paul Manafort’s home who is a Trump’s former campaign chairman. The FBI is reportedly investigating Manafort’s overseas business dealings and his financial history.
On Saturday, Mariotti said, the Facebook search warrant “means that Mueller has concluded that specific foreign individuals committed a crime by making a ‘contribution’ in connection with an election.”
Mariotti wrote, “It also means that he has evidence of that crime that convinced a federal magistrate judge of two things: first, that there was good reason to believe that the foreign individual committed the crime. Second, that evidence of the crime existed on Facebook.”
“It is a crime to know that a crime is taking place and to help it succeed. That’s aiding and abetting. If any Trump associate knew about the foreign contributions that Mueller’s search warrant focused on and helped that effort in a tangible way, they could be charged,” Mariotti said regarding President Trump and his associates.