Special counsel obtains thousands of Trump transition emails - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Special counsel obtains thousands of Trump transition emails

Posted: Updated:
WASHINGTON -

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 organization.

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 organization.

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 to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the records’ sensitivity.

On Saturday, 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 “unauthorized,” 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. According to Langhofer, the assurance was made by then-GSA General Counsel Richard Beckler, who was hospitalized in August and has since died. A copy of the letter was viewed by the AP.

But late Saturday, another GSA official present for the conversation told Buzzfeed News that there was nothing improper about the disclosure of the emails to Mueller’s team. The GSA has provided office space and other aid to presidential transitions in recent years and typically houses electronic transition records in its computer system.

GSA Deputy Counsel Lenny Loewentritt told Buzzfeed that Beckler didn’t make a commitment to the transition team that requests from law enforcement for materials would be routed through transition lawyers.

Loewentritt said the transition was informed that by using government devices, the agency wouldn’t hold back records from law enforcement. Transition officials signed agreements that warn them that materials kept on the government servers are subject to monitoring and auditing, he told Buzzfeed, and there’s no expectation of privacy.

The documents were provided to Mueller’s team by the GSA in September in response to requests from the FBI, but the transition wasn’t informed at the time, according to people familiar with the transition organization. Officials with Trump for America learned last Wednesday that GSA officials had turned over the cache of emails to Mueller’s team.

Late Saturday, Mueller’s spokesman, Peter Carr, said the special counsel’s office has followed the law when it has obtained documents during its investigation.

“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,” Carr said.

Among the officials who used transition email accounts was former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to a count of making false statements to FBI agents in January and is now cooperating with Mueller’s investigation. Flynn was fired by Trump in February for misleading senior administration officials about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S.

It’s unclear how revelatory the email accounts maintained by the GSA will be for Mueller. Several high-level Trump advisers sometimes used other email accounts to communicate about transition issues between Election Day and the inauguration.

Flynn attorney, Robert Kelner, declined to comment. Jay Sekulow, an attorney on Trump’s personal legal team, referred questions to the transition group. Spokespeople for GSA didn’t immediately respond to AP’s emailed requests for comment.

The media site Axios first reported on the transfer of the emails to Mueller’s team.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • What you should do if you have the flu

    What you should do if you have the flu

    Thursday, January 18 2018 1:36 AM EST2018-01-18 06:36:55 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - The number of flu cases continue to rise. In Spokane County, more than 300 people have been hospitalized because of it and 14 of them have died. So how do you know you have the flu? KHQ met with Dr. Bob Lutz, Spokane County health officer. He says that the flu is a respiratory illness and if you have it, you’ll know it’s more than a cold. “You have the body aches. Everything hurts. I’ve had people tell me their eyes hurt, their hair hu...

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - The number of flu cases continue to rise. In Spokane County, more than 300 people have been hospitalized because of it and 14 of them have died. So how do you know you have the flu? KHQ met with Dr. Bob Lutz, Spokane County health officer. He says that the flu is a respiratory illness and if you have it, you’ll know it’s more than a cold. “You have the body aches. Everything hurts. I’ve had people tell me their eyes hurt, their hair hu...

    >>
  • WATCH: Oregon fisherman sues after insane boat crash caught on camera

    WATCH: Oregon fisherman sues after insane boat crash caught on camera

    Wednesday, January 17 2018 6:12 PM EST2018-01-17 23:12:55 GMT

    CLATSOP COUNTY, Ore. - A salmon fisherman who abandoned ship by leaping into the Columbia river last summer, right before another boat crashed into his, is suing the other boat driver for $372,000. The Oregonian reports that the Clatsop County sheriff's office accused Marlin Lee Larson of several crimes after the boater told investigators he couldn't see where he was driving because the dash of his boat was blocking his view when he was sitting down.

    >>

    CLATSOP COUNTY, Ore. - A salmon fisherman who abandoned ship by leaping into the Columbia river last summer, right before another boat crashed into his, is suing the other boat driver for $372,000. The Oregonian reports that the Clatsop County sheriff's office accused Marlin Lee Larson of several crimes after the boater told investigators he couldn't see where he was driving because the dash of his boat was blocking his view when he was sitting down.

    >>
  • Amazon announces 20 finalists for its second headquarters

    Amazon announces 20 finalists for its second headquarters

    Thursday, January 18 2018 10:06 AM EST2018-01-18 15:06:57 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - We didn't make the cut. But we knew that was coming, right?  Amazon released a "short" list of cities it's considering for its second headquarters and although we made a good case (IMO), Spokane did not make the cut.  So who did make the cut?  The 20 potential cities include...

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - We didn't make the cut. But we knew that was coming, right?  Amazon released a "short" list of cities it's considering for its second headquarters and although we made a good case (IMO), Spokane did not make the cut.  So who did make the cut?  The 20 potential cities include...

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Elderly man, cats escape Florida house fire

    Elderly man, cats escape Florida house fire

    Thursday, January 18 2018 8:27 PM EST2018-01-19 01:27:43 GMT

    KENDALL, FLa. NBC - An elderly man and several of his cats were able to escape from a fire that happened early Thursday morning near Miami, Florida. It took firefighters a little over an hour to put out the blaze that had spread to several town homes in Kendall. Two town homes were destroyed and two more were damaged. Neighbors got the man and some of his pets out of the home before it was too late. The homeowner says three of his 

    >>

    KENDALL, FLa. NBC - An elderly man and several of his cats were able to escape from a fire that happened early Thursday morning near Miami, Florida. It took firefighters a little over an hour to put out the blaze that had spread to several town homes in Kendall. Two town homes were destroyed and two more were damaged. Neighbors got the man and some of his pets out of the home before it was too late. The homeowner says three of his 

    >>
  • House passes bill to keep government open

    House passes bill to keep government open

    Thursday, January 18 2018 7:57 PM EST2018-01-19 00:57:39 GMT

    WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on the debate over immigration and the budget (all times local): 7:38 p.m.The House has passed a temporary government-wide funding bill that would avert a government shutdown this weekend. The measure still faces iffy prospects in the Senate, where Democrats are poised to block it in hopes of spurring slow-moving talks on immigration. The measure would keep the government running through Feb. 16. The governme...

    >>

    WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on the debate over immigration and the budget (all times local): 7:38 p.m.The House has passed a temporary government-wide funding bill that would avert a government shutdown this weekend. The measure still faces iffy prospects in the Senate, where Democrats are poised to block it in hopes of spurring slow-moving talks on immigration. The measure would keep the government running through Feb. 16. The governme...

    >>
  • Idaho deputy involved in rollover crash while responding to call

    Idaho deputy involved in rollover crash while responding to call

    Thursday, January 18 2018 7:47 PM EST2018-01-19 00:47:51 GMT
    Lincoln County Sheriff's OfficeLincoln County Sheriff's Office
    On Tuesday, a Lincoln County Sheriff's Deputy was involved in a roll-over crash approximately three miles north of the City of Richfield, Idaho. The deputy received very minor injuries and was not transported to a medical facility. The deputy was responding to a call at the school when the crash occurred. The deputy was driving “code-3” which means the lights and sirens were activated and functioning. The deputy was wearing a seat belt and the air bags were deployed a...>>
    On Tuesday, a Lincoln County Sheriff's Deputy was involved in a roll-over crash approximately three miles north of the City of Richfield, Idaho. The deputy received very minor injuries and was not transported to a medical facility. The deputy was responding to a call at the school when the crash occurred. The deputy was driving “code-3” which means the lights and sirens were activated and functioning. The deputy was wearing a seat belt and the air bags were deployed a...>>