Special counsel obtains thousands of Trump transition emails — AP report

Posted December 18, 2017

"It's a giant distraction", he said of Mueller's probe into Russian meddling in last year's presidential election.

In a letter to congressional committees, Trump campaign lawyer Kory Langhofer alleged the General Services Administration (GSA) "unlawfully produced" private materials, including privileged communications which Mueller then used as part of his Russian Federation probe.

In a seven-page letter sent to congressional committee leaders on Saturday, a lawyer for the Trump campaign, Kory Langhofer, wrote, "We understand that the Special Counsel's Office has subsequently made extensive use of the materials it obtained from the GSA, including materials that are susceptible to privilege claims".

In the letter obtained by Politico, Langhofer calls the emails "private, privileged materials" not government property and informs the committees of what he described as "unlawful conduct that undermines the Presidential Transition Act of 1963".

The emails were not GSA's to give away, according to Langhofer.

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In addition to the emails, CNN reported, Mueller's team was also able to secure access to "transition laptops, cell phones and at least one iPad" without a subpoena.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNN: "I haven't heard anything about any firing, but we have to get past this investigation". He did not name the transition officials who used the devices.

With the ex-FBI director's investigation making inroads into the president's inner circle in recent weeks, Republicans have cast doubt on its impartiality and pressed for a new independent prosecutor to investigate anti-Trump bias.

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. He said the agreement was laid out in June before a lawyer at GSA, Richard Beckler, a Trump appointee, who has since died.

The transition sources said they were surprised about the emails because they have been in touch with Mueller's team and have cooperated. But he has apparently caught Michael Flynn in a lie about his lobbying activities and may have former Trump campaign manager Steve Bannon on money laundering crimes he committed before he even knew the president.

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The latest complaint against Mueller comes amid a barrage of criticism from Trump allies that the special counsel investigation itself is tainted on multiple fronts.

After returning from Camp David, President Trump says he's not planning to fire special counsel Robert Mueller.

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.

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

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.

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