WASHINGTON — President Trump— which emphasizes “peace through strength,” and a new era of competition with Russia and China. Emails are also on Mr. Trump’s mind — this time, emails from his own transition team. They’ve become part of the special counsel’s investigation of Russian meddling in the U.S.
After Mr. Trump returned from Camp David on Sunday,if he was considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller.
“No, I’m not,” Mr. Trump said.
But Mr. Trump said attorneys for his transition were angered by Mueller’s move to obtain emails from their office as part of his.
“My people were very upset about it,” Mr. Trump said Sunday. “I can’t imagine there’s anything on them frankly, because as we’ve said there’s no collusion, no collusion whatsoever.”
In a letter to Congress, a transition attorney called the seizure of emails “unlawful” and accused the General Services Administration — the government agency that provided computers and office space to the Trump transition team — of illegally handing over privileged or private communications to Mueller’s team.
A spokesman for Mueller said all emails collected by investigators were obtained through “either the account owner’s consent or appropriate criminal process.”
John Wood, a former U.S. attorney, told CBS News he didn’t think the acquisition of the emails was either illegal or unethical.
“The individuals don’t have any right to privacy in these emails because they were on a government server, so they should have known that they had no right to privacy in them,” Wood said.
The General Services Administration had no comment.
The email squabble feeds growing Republican skepticism of Mueller’s investigation. Last week many in the GOPfrom a former Mueller investigator as evidence of bias against Mr. Trump.
Rep. John Cornyn, R-Texas, also spoke out.
“I have confidence in Director Mueller,” Cornyn said. “I would just think he would be concerned about the appearance of conflicts of interest that would undermine the integrity of the investigation.”
Sources tell CBS News that Mueller has had the emails since August and has used them in interviews with White House and transition officials. Mr. Trump’s lawyers will meet with Mueller’s team for a status update on the Russian investigation.
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