Sam Nunberg goes full Bartleby

Robert Mueller is leaving no pebble unturned in his search for Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. He is only leaving Democratic boulders unturned. The Democratic boulders are different — they’re the real thing, not a political fabrication.

The latest pebble to be touched by Mueller is one Sam Nunberg. He was briefly an adviser to the Trump campaign until he was terminated in August 2015 following a Business Insider report on racially provocative social media posts. Mueller has subpoenaed him to appear before the grand jury investigating the Trump campaign and to produce documents bearing on the Trump campaign players.

The Washginton Post’s Josh Dawsey reports that Nunberg declines to appear before the grand jury or otherwise comply with Mueller’s subpoena:

In an interview with The Washington Post, Nunberg said he was asked to come to Washington to appear before the grand jury on Friday. He also provided The Washington Post a copy of his two-page grand jury subpoena seeking documents related to President Trump and nine other people, including emails, correspondence, invoices, telephone logs, calendars and “records of any kind.”

Nunberg forwarded an email from the office of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III seeking his appearance in front of the panel on Friday.

Among those the subpoena requests information about are departing White House communications director Hope Hicks, former White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon, Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and adviser Roger Stone.

Nunberg said he does not plan to comply with the subpoena, including either testimony or providing documents.

“Let him arrest me,” Nunberg said. “Mr. Mueller should understand I am not going in on Friday.”

As Bartleby the scrivener put it in Melville’s story, he would prefer not to. Nunberg threatens to go beyond Bartleby to make his point: “Nunberg said he was planning to go on Bloomberg TV and tear up the subpoena.”

Hearts will flutter over at MSNBC at Nunberg’s suggestion that Mueller may have something on Trump and that “Trump may have done something during the election.” I’m not sure they will even note his avowal: “I’m not spending 80 hours going over my emails with Roger Stone and Steve Bannon and producing them. Donald Trump won this election on his own. He campaigned his ass off. And there is nobody who hates him more than me.”

I should add that Nunberg’s comments are certainly calculated to make Mueller’s heart flutter too. They will make it impossible for Mueller to leave him alone. I’m afraid he may be a less straightforward or more complicated character than Bartleby after all.


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