Why a Facebook warrant could signal a turning point in Mueller's investigation

Why a Facebook warrant could signal a turning point in Mueller's investigation

Rangappa said, "The key here, though, is that Mueller clearly already has enough information on these accounts - and their link to a potential crime to justify forcing (Facebook) to give up the info".

Facebook policy dictates that it will only turn over "the stored contents of any account", including messages and location information, in response to a search warrant.

She added, that then the prosecutor has to show that the information being sought will provide evidence of that crime.

Google, which said last week it had seen no evidence of a Russian ad campaign on its platforms during last year's USA election, earlier this year offered to defend election organizers and civic groups against cyber attacks free of charge.

Facebook did not give the same information to Congress because it didn't want to disrupt Mueller's investigation or violate US privacy laws, according to the report. "For the first time here, what we've learned - assuming that The Wall Street Journal's report about a search warrant is correct - is that Bob Muller went to a federal judge and presented evidence and convinced the judge that a crime was committed involving foreign individuals contributing to a political election here in the United States through their actions on Facebook", Mariotti told CBS News' Elaine Quijano.

Federal Bureau of Investigation is also said to be investigating Manafort's financial history and overseas business dealings as part of its probe into possible collusion between the campaign and Moscow.

The announcement came about two months after Facebook said it had no evidence of Russian ad purchases.

"We know we have to stay vigilant to keep ahead of people who try to misuse our platform", said Stamos. "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".

House and Senate investigators were reportedly frustrated with how little they were told in that briefing.

Further, the House Intelligence Committee is seeking an interview with Brad Parscale, the digital director for Trump's campaign, who worked closely with Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner.

When asked how often Facebook works with law enforcement and what sort of information the company might share, Mariotti said, "Facebook's attitude towards law enforcement is aggressive".