Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the 2016 election interference has interviewed at least one employee of Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed today during his testimony before the Senate. Zuckerberg confirmed that he himself had not been interviewed, then declined to elaborate, citing the confidentiality of the investigation.
Senator Leahy asked “I assume Facebook has been served with subpoenas from the special counsel’s office?” Zuckerberg replied “yes.”
Leahy then asked if Zuckerberg or anyone at Facebook had been contacted by the special counsel, and Zuckerberg responded “Yes.” When asked if he specifically had been interviewed, the CEO replied “I have not.” Leahy followed up, asking “Others have?” Zuckerberg responded “I believe so.”
Zuckerberg then got cagey, explaining that “I want to be careful here because our work with the special counsel is confidential and I want to make sure that in an open session I’m not revealing something that’s confidential.” Leahy asked again to confirm Facebook had been contacted and received subpoenas, to which Zuckerberg responded, “Actually let me clarify. I actually am not aware of a subpoena. I believe that there may be. But I know that we’re working with them.”
You can watch this part of the testimony below:
Wired reported in January that at least one Facebook staffer had been interviewed by Mueller, and that they were associated with the Trump campaign. Facebook provided assistance to both the Trump and Clinton campaigns in using Facebook’s tools.
Now, given information that’s come to light about the Trump campaign working with Cambridge Analytica to optimize its campaigns, and about how Cambridge Analytica obtained that data improperly from a Facebook app built by researcher Dr. Aleksandr Kogan, Mueller’s investigation may have been interested to know if the Facebook staffer was aware of the improperly obtained data. Alternatively, Mueller may have simply been interested in whether the Facebook staffer knew of any Russian connection to the campaign.
You can follow TechCrunch’s coverage of the Zuckerberg testimony here: