MENLO PARK (KPIX) — The crosshairs of the investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election in 2016 have landed squarely on Silicon Valley, specifically Facebook.
Special counsel Robert Mueller and his team served the social media giant with a search warrant for ads and accounts linked to Russia.
KPIX5 security analyst Jeff Harp is the former Assistant Special Agent in charge of the San Francisco FBI office. He says search warrants aren’t handed out lightly.
“It’s very important that he shows to the judge, the magistrate who signed this warrant, that yes, we have information to show that there was a crime that was committed or we have information to show that a crime was committed and the evidence is here,” said Harp.
Unlike requests by both the House and Senate that were brushed off by Facebook last week, the search warrant will likely be honored or there will be consequences.
“Companies have to recognize the search warrant, they can be held in contempt – and who gets held in contempt? Well, the CEO can be held in contempt,” says Harp.
As for the information gathered from the warrant, Harp said it will be terabytes worth.
“An email is a sliver of a razor of data when it comes to looking for information that a person like Mueller would be looking for with Facebook,” he said.
Harp also believes this warrant will likely lead to more from the former FBI director.
“This may lead them to other things,” says Harp. “This may lead them to write a search warrant for another social media company. This may lead them to write a search warrant on a financial institution. They always talk about “follow the money”. Robert Mueller is very good about following the money.”