Washington, Dec 17: Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian contacts with President Donald Trump’s campaign has gained access to thousands of emails sent and received by Trump officials before the start of his administration, according to several people familiar with Trump’s transition organisation.
But the investigators did not directly request the records from Trump’s still-existing transition group, Trump for America, and instead obtained them from the General Services Administration, a separate federal agency that stored the material, according to those familiar with the Trump transition organisation.
The tens of thousands of emails in question pertain to 13 senior Trump transition officials. Many of the emails that Mueller’s investigators have now include national security discussions about possible Trump international aims as well as candid assessments of candidates for top government posts, said those familiar with the transition.
They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the records’ sensitivity.
Yesterday, Kory Langhofer, general counsel for the transition group, sent a letter to two congressional committees arguing that the GSA had improperly provided the transition records to Mueller’s investigators.
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 “unauthorised,” and it considers the documents private and privileged and not government property.
Langhofer also said that a GSA official appointed by Trump in May had assured the transition in June that any request for records from Mueller’s office would be referred to the transition’s attorneys.