MSNBC legal analyst Ari Melber said Sam Nunberg's over-the-top antics have obscured the news bombshells he dropped about the special counsel probe of Russian election interference.
The former Trump campaign aide and Roger Stone protégé shared a copy of his grand jury subpoena Monday on air with Melber, which offered a rare glimpse inside Robert Mueller's investigation.
"He believes they wanted to put him in the box so he would provide testimonial evidence against one Roger Stone who, again, remains one of the longest-serving and advisers and political fixers for Donald Trump," Melber said. "In a land of Papadopouloses, I don't have to tell you or this knowledgeable panel what it would mean if in Nunberg is half-right or third right that there is investigative interest in Roger Stone."
"Morning Joe" hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski paused a moment to appreciate Melber's reference to former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, who helped spur the FBI probe of Russian meddling and eventually pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents.
Nunberg commanded the spotlight by appearing to be drunk or having a manic episode, but Melber said his revelations about Mueller's investigation were highly significant.
"Mr. Stone appears to be a person at the center of the international intrigue, as you mentioned, the contact with Wikileaks allegedly, which is believed to be by Bob Mueller of investigative interest of a Russian plot that's already been charged in U.S. federal court," Melber said. "This is the center of the enchilada, this is not a chip on the edge of the plate. That is why it is so fascinating what Mr. Nunberg is disclosing."
Nunberg threatened to tear up the grand jury subpoena, although he later conceded he would comply with the court order, but Melber said that drama was only a sideshow.
"I think it would be a potential mistake to read all of this as a 'will he or won't he' story about Mr. Nunberg's cooperation with the special counsel," Melber said. "That is not what gives it such legal, political and journalistic heat. What gives it so much heat is how much he's disclosing regardless of what he later does, because he is basically saying that he has this belief that they're setting up a case, his words, against Roger Stone."
Nunberg blurted out that he had been offered immunity in exchange for his testimony, and Melber said the claim was credible since it was allegedly made through his attorneys -- and he said the offer was significant.
"It matches with the fact that he did have a grand jury testimony request, meaning put him in the box to say things that could later be used in court against people -- which never happens to most witnesses," Melber said. "So, yes, in that sense, that is, forget whatever Sam Nunberg says or believes, that is an indication we have that the Mueller prosecutors want something more from him, hence the immunity."