Sunday, December 17, 2017

Mueller Team Illegally Seized Thousands of Trump Transition Papers

And here I thought they were supposed to be investigating so called collusion with Russia before the election. I guess that hasn't worked out so well yet: Mueller improperly obtained documents in Russia probe
A lawyer for the Trump presidential transition team is accusing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office of inappropriately obtaining transition documents as part of its Russia probe, including confidential attorney-client communications, privileged communications and thousands of emails without their knowledge.

In a letter obtained by Fox News and sent to House and Senate committees on Saturday, the transition team’s attorney alleges “unlawful conduct” by the career staff at the General Services Administration (GSA) in handing over transition documents to the special counsel’s office.

Kory Langhofer, the counsel to Trump for America (TFA), argues the GSA “did not own or control the records in question” and the release of documents could be a violation of the Fourth Amendment – which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures.
They're putting the heat on GSA for giving up the documents without a warrant and without notifying the documents owners rather than Mueller, who asked for the documents in a letter. I think we can agree to blame both.
Langhofer wrote in Saturday's letter that the GSA handed over “tens of thousands of emails” to Mueller's probe without "any notice" to the transition.

The attorney said they discovered the “unauthorized disclosures” by the GSA on Dec. 12 and 13 and raised concerns with the special counsel’s office. The Associated Press reported that the GSA turned over a flash drive containing tens of thousands of records on Sept. 1 after receiving requests from Mueller's office in late August.
What, no warrant? No notice?
Those records included emails sent and received by 13 senior Trump transition officials. 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.

“We understand that the special counsel’s office has subsequently made extensive use of the materials it obtained from the GSA, including materials that are susceptible to privilege claims," Langhofer wrote. He added that some of the records obtained by the special counsel’s office from the GSA “have been leaked to the press by unknown persons.”
Apparently, some of these materials have been used as the basis for questioning some of the Trump officials, presumably without their knowledge that the Mueller team had copies. Setting up perjury traps? That seems to be a standard FBI modus operandi. This is apparently what tipped off the Trump team that Mueller had the documents.
The transition attorney said the special counsel's office also received laptops, cell phones and at least one iPad from the GSA.
Much more at Legal Insurrection in "Mueller improperly grabbed tens of thousands of transition docs" including:
The Special Counsel’s office said: “We will decline to comment.”

The transition sources said they were surprised about the emails because they have been in touch with Mueller’s team and have cooperated.

The twist: The sources say that transition officials assumed that Mueller would come calling, and had sifted through the emails and separated the ones they considered privileged. But the sources said that was for naught, since Mueller has the complete cache from the dozen accounts.
At this point, the whole Mueller investigation has become "fruit of the poisonous tree."
The "fruit of the poisonous tree" doctrine is an offspring of the Exclusionary Rule. The exclusionary rule mandates that evidence obtained from an illegal arrest, unreasonable search, or coercive interrogation must be excluded from trial.
Jeff Sessions or Rod Rosenstein should fire Mueller (as well as most of his pro-Clinton anti-Trump team), throw out the tainted evidence, see what remains, and decide if there is anything left to investigate.

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