Robert Mueller’s Office Denies Team Trump’s Claim That Thousands Of Emails Were Unlawfully Obtained

12.17.17 8 months ago 11 Comments

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This weekend has seen plenty of drama over the acquisition of Trump transition team correspondence. On Saturday, Axios pushed over the first domino while reporting that Special Counsel Robert Mueller obtained tens of thousands of relevant emails, courtesy of the General Services Administration (GSA, the federal agency charged with managing transition team email accounts). Sources then told the Associated Press that these emails involved 13 senior officials of the Trump transition team and discussed matters such as who Trump would hire for certain government posts along with national security issues.

In response to these reports, Trump’s legal team (via Kory Langhofer, general counsel of the transition team) argued that the GSA unlawfully handed the emails to Mueller as part of the Justice Department’s ongoing Russia probe:

[Langhofer] sent a letter to two congressional committees arguing that the GSA had improperly provided the transition records to Mueller’s investigators. In the letter to the Republican chairmen of the House Oversight and the Senate Homeland Security committees, Langhofer contends that the disclosure by GSA was “unauthorized,” and it considers the documents private and privileged and not government property.

Next up, a special counsel office spokesperson, Peter Carr, told The Hill that all emails that have been obtained during the Russia probe have either arrived via account-owner consent (which is obviously not the case here) or “appropriate criminal process.” In other words, Mueller isn’t being procedurally sloppy.

It must be noted that transition team officials all previously signed agreements that informed them of the monitoring of government servers, so they should not have reasonably expected to have privacy in these discussions. However, the emails are said to heavily feature correspondence to and from Jared Kushner. The Trump son-in-law was reportedly fielding all sorts of flotsam (including a “backdoor overture”) from Russia. And at times, he has even used a personal email account to discuss undisclosed (for now) White House business.

Add all of this to the fact that Kushner had to revise his security form thrice while adding “more than 100 names” of foreign contacts, and it sure seems like Mueller is zeroing in on Kushner, yes? Perhaps he’ll be the next person to pay a visit to Subpoenaville.

(Via Axios, Associated Press & The Hill)

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