Special counsel Robert Mueller has issued a pair of subpoenas to a social media consultant who worked on Roger Stone’s pro-Donald Trump super PAC during the 2016 presidential campaign.
An attorney for Jason Sullivan, a Republican consultant based in Southern California, confirmed to POLITICO that his client received the subpoenas in recent days for both documents and his testimony before the Mueller-charged grand jury in Washington.
A firm date for Sullivan’s grand jury appearance is still being negotiated, said Knut Johnson, one of the consultant’s personal attorneys. Reuters first reported the news of the subpoenas earlier Wednesday.
Sullivan said in an interview that he worked for Stone’s Committee to Restore America’s Greatness during the final four months of the 2016 White House race, assisting the pro-Trump group with social media strategy namely around Twitter. According to records filed with the Federal Election Commission, Stone’s super PAC reported making two payments $1,500 payments to Sullivan in July and August 2016.
“All I can say is no collusion,” Sullivan said. He added that he did not know Stone before working on his super PAC.
Sullivan’s social media company, Cyphoon, is also listed in FEC records as working for two unsuccessful House GOP congressional candidates in Texas during the 2018 midterm cycle.
Mueller’s office, which declined to comment about the grand jury subpoenas to Sullivan, has signaled interest in Stone through its questioning of several of his longtime associates. Two former Trump campaign aides, Michael Caputo and Sam Nunberg, have both said they were asked about Stone during their interviews with the special counsel’s team. The president’s personal lawyers also included Stone among a long list of potential topics that Trump should prepare to be asked about if he sits with Mueller’s team for an interview, according to a New York Times report last month.
In an email to POLITICO, Stone called Sullivan “a great salesman who worked for me for a couple of months as a social media consultant. As far as I know all of his social media activities work was perfectly legal.” He added that Sullivan had access to his Twitter feed while working for his super PAC.
Robert Buschel, a Stone attorney, declined comment on the subpoenas sent to Sullivan. The lawyer added that Mueller’s office had not contacted Stone for documents or an interview.
Stone said in his email to POLITICO that the materials he’d given to the House were also likely “fully available” to Mueller. He also said he expected his materials would be given to the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Public comments by Stone during the 2016 campaign about his contacts with WikiLeaks, which published hacked Democratic emails damaging to Hillary Clinton, have also drawn scrutiny on Capitol Hill. He appeared last September for three hours in a closed-door session before the House Intelligence Committee, which he told reporters afterward struck him as a “political exercise.”
In a memo released on Wednesday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Stone had agreed to provide the panel with documents and then sit for an interview.
Stone, one of the youngest members of President Richard Nixon’s infamous 1972 reelection bid, formed his super PAC in fall 2015 just a few months after he left Trump’s presidential campaign. (Trump at the time said he fired his longtime political adviser, though Stone insisted he quit.) The group faced immediate controversy when Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s campaign manager at the time, told The Hill newspaper that he’d sent a cease-and-desist letter and slammed its work as a “big-league scam.”
But Stone persisted, spending nearly all of the $587,000 the super PAC raised during the 2016 election cycle, according to FEC campaign data compiled by OpenSecrets.org.
Among the super PAC’s receipts: $25,000 for a 55-foot digital billboard of Trump depicted as Superman that was displayed in September 2016 in Times Square and $63,000 distributed to a separate Stone-led tax-exempt nonprofit, “Stop the Steal,” that organized exit polling in key precincts around Election Day.
In his statement to POLITICO, Stone said the Twitter records he’d given investigators offered “no evidence” that he was working with Russians hackers or WikiLeaks. He added that he had “no advance notice” of the Democratic hacking disclosures, “nor did I receive any material from WikiLeaks or the Russians or anyone else including allegedly hacked emails nor did I pass on any such material to Donald Trump or the Trump campaign or anyone else.”
“There is simply no evidence to the contrary,” Stone added.