Special Counsel Robert Mueller is being accused of “unlawful conduct” and violating the Fourth Amendment over his latest move in the Russia probe. He obtained tens of thousands of emails from 12 members of Donald Trump’s presidential transition team dated before he was sworn into office.
Axios reports that one of Trump’s attorneys, Kory Langhofer, fired off a letter to congressional committees on Saturday accusing Robert Mueller of “unlawful conduct” for getting the emails from the General Services Administration, the government agency that hosted the transition team’s email system. The email addresses ended in “ptt.gov” for Presidential Transition Team.
Langhofer, counsel for the transition team, wrote in his letter that “career staff at the General Services Administration… have unlawfully produced [transition team] private materials, including privileged communications, to the Special Counsel’s Office.”
The seven-page letter from Langhofer argued that the materials Robert Mueller is sifting through includes correspondence that “are susceptible to privilege claims.” He’s charging that the special counsel violated the Fourth Amendment, which is protection from unreasonable search and seizure. Trump’s attorney adds that some of the materials consisting of privileged correspondence “have been leaked to the press by unknown persons.”
Emails considered “privileged” contain materials on potential appointments, gossip about the views of certain senators involved in the confirmation process, speculation about the “vulnerabilities” of Trump nominees, “strategizing” about press statements, and “policy planning” on a variety of issues from war to taxes.
The sources say that transition officials assumed that Mueller would come calling, and had sifted through the emails and separated the ones they considered privileged. But the sources said that was for naught. https://t.co/tmgaCciEjT
— Axios (@axios) December 16, 2017
A transition team source tells Axios that Mueller was provided the emails “to confirm things and get new leads.” Members of the transition team are reportedly surprised to hear about the emails because they’ve been in touch with the special counsel’s office and are cooperating fully with the investigation. Insiders say that transition officials had reason to believe that Mueller would call for whatever information he needed regarding the emails, and that they’d already separated out the emails they considered privileged. It turned out that Mueller has the entire cache from the numerous accounts. Up to 7,000 emails were obtained by Robert Mueller and were exchanges from the transition team’s political leadership and foreign policy team. Emails from Jared Kushner, who’s under scrutiny in the Russia investigation, are also in the cache of emails Mueller has.