Trump Allies Allege Mueller's Obtaining Trump Transition Emails Was 'Unlawful'

Joshua Roberts  Reuters
Special counsel Robert Mueller

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office over the weekend shot down Republican complaints that emails from Trump's transition team - including inner-circle members like Jared Kushner - were illegally provided to investigators.

Kory Langhofer, an Arizona-based attorney representing Trump for America, spelled out the complaint in a seven-page letter sent Saturday to the main House and Senate oversight committees where he raises potential violations of attorney-client privilege and the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unlawful search and seizure.

Trump for America counsel Kory Langhofer told Senate and House lawmakers in a letter Saturday that a General Services Administration staffer "unlawfully produced" the records for Mueller's Russian Federation probe, according to the memo obtained by Axios and Buzzfeed.

On whether Mueller should have disclosed that they had obtained the emails, Loewentritt added, "That's between the Special Counsel and the transition team".

This dispute over the lawful obtaining of this batch of emails is the latest in a series of ongoing attacks, particularly from conservatives, on the Department of Justice investigation looking into what role Russian Federation played in interfering in the 2016 presidential election. Van Grack also declined to identify the 13 transition officials whose materials the special counsel's office had obtained.

The G.S.A. helps manage the USA government bureaucracy, and Trump's transition team utilized its facilities in the period between Trump's November 2016 election victory and his inauguration in January 2017. Several high-level Trump advisers sometimes used other email accounts, including their campaign accounts, to communicate about transition issues between Election Day and the inauguration.

President Trump's legal counsel Ty Cobb says the president is not going to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, in response to a "rumor" that Trump will dismiss Mueller this week.

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Mr. Trump's attorneys are embroiled in a fresh spat with Mueller, the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director, over his team's reported acquisition of thousands of emails from Mr. Trump's transition team. Then-GSA General Counsel Richard Beckler in June explained to him that all requests for the transition's communications would indeed be routed through its lawyers and that GSA would hold all of the material in secure facilities.

A lawyer for TFA, who spoke on background because he was not authorized to speak to media, told NPR it found out on December 13 that GSA officials turned over the emails to the Special Counsel in September.

But in his letter Langhofer said that Mueller's team has been "actively using" the emails obtained from GSA as part of the ongoing investigation.

"'Private documents' on a US Government, public email system?"

The lawyer added that TFA had a "reasonable expectation of privacy in those emails" and claims that in order for the special counsel to have received the materials it would have needed a warrant or a subpoena.

"This is another attempt to discredit Mueller as his #TrumpRussia probe tightens", tweeted Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell.

"I'm increasingly anxious Republicans will shut down the House intelligence committee investigation at the end of the month", Adam Schiff, the leading Democrat on the House intelligence committee said prior to reports of the letter this weekend.

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