AP report: Special counsel obtains thousands of Trump transition emails


Rumors about the future of the investigation into alleged Russian links to President Donald Trump's campaign continue to swirl Sunday, after a transition team lawyer accused the special counsel investigation of obtaining tens of thousands of emails unlawfully.

Arizona-based attorney Kory Langhofer claims Mueller's acquisition of the emails violated attorney-client privilege and the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures.

Mr Mueller is investigating allegations of collusion between Mr Trump's presidential campaign and Russian Federation.

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.

According to Langhofer, the assurance was made by then-GSA General Counsel Richard Beckler, who was hospitalized in August and has since died.

Mueller's prosecutors reportedly used the emails to question witnesses, and are also looking to the messages to confirm information and follow new leads.

"I seriously doubt there is anything here to taint the [Mueller] investigation", said William Jeffress, a white-collar defense attorney who represented Vice President Dick Cheney's senior aide, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, during the Valerie Plame CIA leak investigation. Van Grack also declined to identify the 13 transition officials whose materials the special counsel's office had obtained.

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The letter blames the agency's counsel, Lenny Loewentritt, and his "career GSA staff" for turning over thousands of unredacted emails without notifying the transition team.

Langhofer argues in the letter that decision by GSA officials went against what he calls "the GSA's previous acknowledgement concerning" the Trump campaign's "rightful ownership and control of" transition team materials.

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.

"GOP voices are accusing the team assembled by special counsel Robert Mueller of bias against President Trump - and they're appearing to set the stage for some action". The former FBI director's team appear to be making a headway in their investigation.

Both Mueller's team and Loewentritt pushed back on Langhofer's accusations. "Baloney. This is another attempt to discredit Mueller as his #TrumpRussia probe tightens", he wrote on Twitter.

"Our committee has direct jurisdiction over the Presidential Transition Act, and it simply does not support withholding transition team emails from criminal investigators", the Maryland Democrat said.

I have to say that there would be something flawless about this - a special counsel investigating, in part, the circumstances that led to his appointment would be fired, perhaps leading to an impeachment about the circumstances of his ouster.