Days after going on an extraordinary media blitz to insist he would defy a subpoena in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, former Trump aide Sam Nunberg did, in fact, show up to the federal courthouse in Washington, DC, on Friday.
Nunberg, sporting a dark suit with an American flag pin on the lapel, took the elevator up to the floor of the US District Court for the District of Columbia where the grand jury meets, and went inside the grand jury office. He didn't speak with the throng of reporters gathered, except to shake his head and say, "No," when asked if he would speak to the press later.
He was accompanied by his attorney Patrick Brackley, who also did not speak with reporters.
Nunberg on Monday made a string of bizarre television appearances, bouncing between CNN and MSNBC, to say that he had received a subpoena from Mueller's office to produce emails and to testify before the grand jury on Friday, but that he would refuse to comply. He complained that the subpoena's demands were too onerous and "ridiculous."
"Screw that," he told CNN's Gloria Borger at one point. He complained that the special counsel's office was trying to use him to build a criminal case against Roger Stone, who he described as his mentor, and said that he wouldn't be a part of it. He also speculated about whether Mueller's office had evidence against President Donald Trump — "I think they may," he said — and called Trump an "idiot."
Interviewers reminded him at several points that he could be found in contempt and be sent to jail for refusing to comply with a subpoena, but he was undeterred, saying that he thought "it would be funny if they arrested me."
But he later had a change of heart. The next day, he told reporters that he would cooperate with the special counsel's office. He pointed to advice he got on Monday during an on-air appearance on MSNBC from lawyer Maya Wiley, who had told him that refusing to comply with a subpoena was unwise.
Nunberg was fired from Trump's campaign in August 2015 after racist Facebook messages that he allegedly wrote surfaced.
The grand jury operates in secret, but Nunberg's public display of defiance earlier this week gave the press a rare heads-up about when he was expected to testify.
Nunberg spent more than six hours in the grand jury office. He and his lawyer didn't answer questions from reporters as they exited the courthouse.
About a half hour before Nunberg left, special counsel prosecutors Andrew Weissmann and Brian Richardson entered the courthouse and were seen going into the chambers of the chief judge. They didn't speak with reporters.