Facebook turns over Russian ad data to special counsel

Former Trump aide liquidated children’s college fund to pay for Russia defense report

Facebook also gave Mueller information on the accounts that purchased the ads, according to the Journal. Facebook policy dictates that it would only turn over "the stored contents of any account,".

"That means that he has uncovered a great deal of evidence through other avenues of Russian election interference", she said.

Mariotti believes this indicates that Mueller is "closing in on charging foreign individuals in connection with that, which is much more like the sort of thing I think lot of people speculated could come from the Mueller investigation, but frankly we hadn't seen up until now".

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Facebook didn't share that data with Congress partly amid concerns it might disrupt the Mueller probe and due to US privacy laws, the people said, according to the report.

According to former federal prosecutor and now a partner at Thompson Coburn LLP, Renato Mariotti, the revelation about Mueller obtaining a search warrant for Facebook content "may be the biggest news in the case since the Manafort raid".

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. The bureau is reportedly investigating Manafort's financial history and overseas business dealings as part of its probe into possible collusion between the campaign and Moscow.

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"We know we have to stay vigilant to keep ahead of people who try to misuse our platform", said Stamos. Rangappa said this reveals two key pieces of information. That's aiding and abetting. Facebook marketing is becoming increasingly important for election strategy, but social media ads are not legally required to provide the same transparency as ads that run on more traditional forums like television. "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. A spokeswoman told CNN Thursday that the company isn't sure how many Kremlin-backed ads appeared on the site to influence US politics.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said the level of sophistication of the ads could let investigators find out if the Trump campaign had any involvement.

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