A lawyer for President Trump’s transition team has cried foul on thousands of private emails now in the hands of special counsel Robert Mueller for his far-reaching Russia probe.
Trump for America counsel Kory Langhofer told Senate and House lawmakers on Saturday that a General Services Administration staffer “unlawfully produced” the records, according to a memo obtained by Axios and Buzzfeed.
Langhofer took exception to Mueller going around the transition team to request the emails from the independent agency directly. He argues the messages were not for the GSA to share.
“The materials produced by the GSA to the Special Counsel’s Office therefore included materials protected by the attorney-client privilege, the deliberative process privilege, and the presidential communications privilege,” Langhofer wrote.
Sources familiar with the transition believe the contents of some emails could detail the planning into Trump’s administration, including national security and foreign policy missions. The records could glean the candid conversations that led to nominations for some top government posts.
The agency is charged with storing some presidential records while helping incoming and outgoing leaders following the election and inauguration.
Langhofer claims former GSA counsel Richard Beckler assured the transition team in June that the emails were not owned or controlled by the GSA, according to his missive. The nature of that affirmation went the wayside after Beckler was “hospitalized and incapacitated” in August. He died the following month.
Trump transition lawyer Kory Langhofer believes the emails were given to Mueller’s team unlawfully.
(Ross D. Franklin/AP)
Meanwhile, Beckler’s replacement at the GSA apparently gave Mueller’s office a flash drive holding tens of thousands of the records on Sept. 1, following their August request. Langhofer’s letter blames GSA counsel Lenny Loewentritt and his “career GSA staff” for turning over the unredacted emails.
The transition team only learned of the transferred emails on Wednesday.
Langhofer’s seven-page memo was addressed to members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs and U.S. House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform.
Axios first reported that Mueller’s team acquired a document cache with communications from Trump’s inner circle, including Michael Flynn, from the 2016 election to Trump’s inauguration.
Mueller’s probe into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to secure the U.S. presidential election has prompted already prompted a guilty plea from Flynn for lying about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. He was fired from the White House in February.
With News Wire Services