Can Sam Nunberg legally refuse to comply with a subpoena? - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Can Sam Nunberg legally refuse to comply with a subpoena?

Sam Nunberg became one of Trump's first full-time political advisers in 2014. (Source: CNN) Sam Nunberg became one of Trump's first full-time political advisers in 2014. (Source: CNN)

(RNN) - Former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg stubbornly declared on Monday that he’s refusing to comply with a subpoena from special counsel Robert Mueller.

The subpoena compels him to testify before a grand jury in Mueller's ongoing investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government to sway the 2016 presidential election.

Is he legally allowed to refuse to testify?

The short answer is no. The longer answer, according to FindLaw, is: not without a legitimate legal reason.

Refusal to comply with a subpoena can land you in jail with a contempt of court charge. After all, Subpoena literally translates to “under penalty” in Latin.

It sounds like Nunberg is aware of the penalty. He told The Washington Post, "Let him arrest me."

But what are the legal reasons to not testify?

  • Privilege
    • Spousal privilege – Spouses cannot be compelled to testify to communications with the other that occurred during the marriage.
    • Attorney-client privilege – Attorneys cannot be forced to testify about communication with a client.
    • Doctor-patient confidentiality – A doctor cannot reveal private medical information without the consent of the patient.
  • Fifth Amendment
    • The Fifth Amendment protects citizens from testifying if it will reveal self-incriminating information. If you’re not hiding criminal activity, the Fifth Amendment’s protections do not apply.

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