Lawyers representing President Donald Trump’s transition on Saturday accused special counsel Robert Mueller of improperly obtaining emails and documents as part of his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to several reports.
Fox News first reported that Kory Langhofer, the attorney for the President’s Trump for America transition team, sent a letter to the Senate Homeland Security Committee and House Oversight Committee accusing staff at the General Services Administration (GSA) of “unlawful conduct” for giving Mueller the documents.
He claimed that Mueller’s office asked the GSA for “copies of the emails, laptops, cell phones, and other materials” of 13 members of Trump’s transition, four of whom Langhofer claimed were senior members.
Langhofer also accused GSA officials of giving Mueller “tens of thousands of emails” without giving the transition “any notice.” He claimed some of the documents Mueller obtained were “susceptible to privilege claims.”
According to Langhofer, Richard Beckler, the late general counsel of the GSA, “assured” the Trump transition’s legal counsel that “any requests” for materials from the transition would “be routed” to them. Beckler died in September.
Langhofer claimed that Lenny Loewentritt, deputy counsel for the GSA, was present for Beckler’s conversations with the Trump transition’s legal representation, and accused Loewentritt of “working with” the GSA staffers who gave Mueller the materials.
Both Mueller’s team and Loewentritt pushed back on Langhofer’s accusations.
In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Loewentritt said Beckler “never made that commitment” to Trump’s transition and said members of the transition were informed that if they used GSA devices or materials, those “would not be held back” in the event of law enforcement action.
“Therefore, no expectation of privacy can be assumed,” Loewentritt said.
“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,” a spokeperson for the special counsel told CNN and Fox News.