During last year’s presidential campaign and as recently as October of this year, Donald Trump repeatedly called for Democrat Hillary Clinton to release any of her personal emails that had not already been made public. But this week, after it was revealed that Russia investigation Special Counsel Robert Mueller had obtained “tens of thousands” of emails sent by members of the Trump presidential transition team, Trump now claims that emails written by his own associates are private.
In fact, a Trump transition lawyer, Kory Langhofer, claimed in a letter to congress made public this weekend, that Mueller obtained the emails “unlawfully.” But according to a legal expert and former federal prosecutor, the real reason for Trump’s protests over the emails is not that Mueller broke the law in obtaining them, a claim that appears to be false, but that the emails themselves contain evidence that Trump or members of his inner circle committed crimes — crimes related to the possible collusion between the Trump team and Russia, which is the subject of Mueller’s investigation.
Mueller obtained the emails not from Trump’s team directly, but through the General Services Administration (GSA), which aids presidential transitions between the date of the presidential election and inauguration day. According to former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti, who is currently a candidate for state attorney general in Illinois, obtaining the emails through a “third party” would likely have required Mueller to obtain a search warrant.