A lawyer representing President Donald Trump has blasted Special Counsel Robert Mueller for improperly obtaining emails from Trump’s transition team as part of an investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential race.
The General Services Administration granted Mueller’s team access to the Trump transition team’s emails in August without allowing them to review the correspondences or to account for factors such as attorney-client privilege, the New York Times reported.
A spokesman for Mueller’s office defended the acquisition of the emails as an aboveboard information grab that did not violate any rules.
“When we have obtained emails in the course of our ongoing criminal investigation, we have secured either the account owner’s consent or appropriate criminal process,” said Peter Carr, who represents the special counsel’s office.
Kory Langhofer, counsel to Trump for America, insisted that the acquired emails belonged to Trump transition officials and should have been subjected to the Trump team’s review before being turned over to Mueller’s office.
“The materials produced by the G.S.A. 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 in a letter sent to the Senate and House oversight committees.
The Trump administration has been mired in scandal amid concerns that the president is gearing up to fire Mueller just as the investigation appears to be circling toward him.
“There’s no conversation about that whatsoever in the White House,” said Marc Short, the White House’s legislative affairs director, during a Sunday appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“Taxpayers have spent millions and millions of dollars on this investigation that has not yet proven any sense of collusion with the Russians. I think the American people are ready to turn the page.”