Trump fired Nunberg — a self-described protégé of political operative Roger Stone — in August 2015 after the disclosure of racially offensive Facebook posts he had written.
.. “Roger is my mentor. Roger is like family to me. I’m not going to do it,” Nunberg told MSNBC.
.. Nunberg also disobeyed requests from Mueller’s investigators to avoid publicly discussing his five-plus hour interview with Mueller’s team in Washington last month.
.. And he called “ridiculous” a question about whether he had ever heard anyone speak Russian in Trump’s office.
.. Nunberg speculated that the grand jury appearance he plans to skip on Friday was arranged in part so he could be asked about what he’s heard from senior Trump associates involving Trump’s attendance in 2013 at the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow.
.. Nunberg said he’s spoken with Trump’s longtime security guard Keith Schiller about that Trump visit — specifically including what Nunbeg calls an offer by Trump’s Russian partners in staging the pageant to send prostitutes to his hotel room.
.. “Trump flat out refused it,” Nunberg said. “I can tell you that Trump is too smart to have women come up to his room.”
.. Disobeying a grand jury subpoena is considered civil contempt and can be the basis for arrest, and prosecutors typically respond with a motion asking the court to hold the witness in contempt.
.. Legal experts pointed to the precedent of Susan McDougal, a former Arkansas business partner of President Bill Clinton who spent 18 months in prison in the 1990s for civil contempt after refusing to testify to a grand jury investigating his Whitewater real estate deals.
.. Nunberg also has ties to one of Trump’s personal attorneys, Jay Sekulow, who he credits with helping him get his start in campaign politics.
.. Nunberg was working as a volunteer for Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign when he first met Sekulow, who also is the chief counsel of the non-profit American Center for Law & Justice. Sekulow hired Nunberg to work in ACLJ’s New York office to help stop the construction of a mosque near the World Trade Center site.
.. Nunberg on why he’s saying no to Mueller:
Because what they said to me was absolutely ridiculous. They wanted every email I had with Roger Stone and with Steve Bannon. Why should I hand them emails from November 1, 2015. I was thinking about this today, Katy, I was preparing it. Should I spend 50 hours going over all my emails with Roger and with Steve Bannon. And then they wanted emails that I had with Hope Hicks, with Corey Lewandowski, are you — give me a break. It’s ridiculous.
.. Nunberg on the value of mentorship, loyalty:
I’m not going to cooperate when they want me to come in to a grand jury for them to insinuate that Roger Stone was colluding with Julian Assange. Roger is my mentor, Roger’s like family to me. I’m not going to do it.
.. Nunberg on some of the stuff that Mueller’s people had already asked him about:
You know what they asked — they asked things like, ‘Did you hear people speaking Russian in the Trump office?’ Katy, I did not hear people speaking Russian in the Trump office. They asked things like, ‘Did you hear about Trump Tower Moscow?’ No, I never heard about Trump Tower Moscow.