Special counsel Robert Mueller recently got his hands on a warrant that allows him to search the records of about 500, “inauthentic” Facebook accounts that may have purchased social media ad space in the run up to the 2016 election. Muller’s investigation hopes that some of these fake Facebook accounts will be able to be tied to Russia in some way.
Muller’s warrant was awarded because it is illegal for foreign nationals to purchase campaign ads in US elections. As a result, Facebook is now providing evidence to Mueller, in an attempt to find Russian ad purchases during the election. Facebook is expected to turn over the contact information of the ad purchasers, and the details of how they paid for the ads.
If Muller is able to find that a Russian person – or someone who knows someone from Russia, or is involved with a company/organization that has a presence in Russia – purchased pro-Trump advertisements, it could be the most significant find of the investigation so far.
It is important to note that, for this type of warrant to be granted, the prosecutor had to convinces the judge that evidence of a crime committed could be found only if the warrant was granted. Clearly, the judge was convinced that there was evidence enough to justify the warrant, and that a crime may have been committed. However, judges hardly ever refuse to grant warrants, and a skilled enough attorneys can convince the judge of almost anything