Last Updated Mar 5, 2018 6:23 PM EST
Former Trump campaign adviser Sam Nunberg is refusing to comply with a subpoena order issued by special counsel Robert Mueller, as part of the grand jury’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Nunberg told the Washington Post on Monday that he was asked to appear before the grand jury on Friday but does not intend to appear or to provide documents.
“Let him arrest me,” Nunberg told the Post. “Mr. Mueller should understand I am not going in on Friday.”
Nunberg also claimed in an interview with MSNBC’s Ari Melber that Mueller offered him immunity to testify against Trump adviser Roger Stone. Nunberg, who referred to Stone as his “mentor,” said he thought that the special counsel’s team is trying to build a perjury case against Stone.
The subpoena issued to Nunberg requested documents related to Mr. Trump and nine others including emails, telephone logs and other records. News of his subpoena comes after CBS News confirmed that Mueller is seeking documents regarding the president and several of his closest advisers and campaign associates. Investigators are looking for emails, text messages, work documents, telephone logs and other relevant documents dating back to November 1, 2015.
Nunberg went so far as to say he wanted to “rip up” his subpoena on television in an act of defiance.
As Mueller continues to probe into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russian government, Nunberg maintains that there was no collusion. “Putin is too smart to collude with Donald Trump,” Nunberg explained to the Post.
But in an interview with MSNBC on Monday afternoon, Nunberg said he believes Mueller has “something” on the president, based on questions he was asked by investigators, insinuating he believes the president may have committed a crime.
“I think he may have done something during the election,” Nunberg told MSNBC. He made similar claims to CNN shortly thereafter, saying that Mueller thinks that “Trump is the Manchurian candidate.” He also claimed that Mr. Trump was aware of the Trump Tower meeting in June of 2016 where Mr. Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. met with other senior campaign aides and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.
“You know he knew about it. He was talking about it a week before, I don’t know why he went around trying to hide it,” said Nunberg.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded to Nunberg’s comments at Monday’s briefing, saying “I definitely think he doesn’t know that for sure because he’s incorrect.”
Sanders added, “As we’ve said many times before there was no collusion with the Trump campaign, anything further on what his actions are he hasn’t worked at the White House so I certainly can’t speak to to him or the lack of knowledge that he clearly has.”
CBS News’ Paula Reid reports that a former independent investigator describes Nunberg’s refusal to comply with Mueller, which he late relayed to the media, as a “high-risk” maneuver as Mueller is no pushover. The investigator expects Nunberg will be made an example and held in contempt which carries a risk of jail time.
The former adviser appeared to find such risks amusing. “I think it would be funny if they arrested me,” he said on Monday.
Nunberg was fired from the Trump campaign on August 2, 2015 just two months after Mr. Trump announced his candidacy for president after reports unearthed multiple racially-charged comments he had made on a personal Facebook page dating back to 2007.
CBS News’ Emily Tillett contributed to this report.
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