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Facebook gave more Russian ad details to special counsel Mueller than to Congress

  • Facebook gave special counsel Robert Mueller more records on Russian ad purchases than it provided to Congress, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter
Special counsel Robert Mueller (2nd L) leaves after a closed meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee June 21, 2017 at the Capitol in Washington, DC.
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Special counsel Robert Mueller (2nd L) leaves after a closed meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee June 21, 2017 at the Capitol in Washington, DC.

Facebook gave special counsel Robert Mueller more records on Russian ad purchases than it provided to Congress last week, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The information provided to Mueller included copies of the ads, information about the accounts buying them and their targeting criteria, the people said, according to the report. The information provided to Congress included copies of the ads and buyers' identities — information that the social network's own policy dictates would only be turned over via search warrant, those sources told the publication.

Former FBI Director Mueller was appointed by the Department of Justice to investigate Russian interference in the U.S. election.

Facebook didn't share that data with Congress partly amid concerns it might disrupt the Mueller probe and due to U.S. privacy laws, the people said, according to the report.

The report said a Facebook spokesperson said the company was continuing to investigate and was cooperating with authorities, and that a spokesperson for Mueller declined to comment.

Facebook didn't immediately return CNBC's emailed request for comment, which was sent outside office hours.

Mueller's office told CNBC via email on Saturday that it declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.

For more on the Facebook data investigation, see the full Wall Street Journal report.