Mueller’s little surprise

Yesterday John Roberts and Alex Pappas reported for FOX News that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has obtained transition documents including confidential attorney-client communications, privileged communications and thousands of emails without their knowledge. The transition team lawyer alleges that Mueller has obtained the the documents illegally.

Mike Allen follows up on the story at Axios this morning. Allen notes that “Trump officials discovered Mueller had the emails when his prosecutors used them as the basis for questions to witnesses[.]”

Allen provides this statement from Special Counsel spokesman Peter Carr early this morning: “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.”

Allen has posted a PDF of the seven-page letter dated December 16 from transition team lawyer Kory Langhofer to Senator Johnson et al. here. The letter makes legal arguments to support the proposition that the General Services Administration — the custodian of the items in issue — could not properly have turned the items over to Mueller voluntarily. It should be noted that Carr’s statement fails in a number of respects to respond to points made and facts recited in Langhoffer’s letter. See in particular the troubling facts recited in section II. of the letter at pages 3-5.

It seems highly unlikely that the Mueller probe will be wrapping up any time soon or that the controversy over its conduct will diminish in the meantime.

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