WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump denied on Sunday that he is thinking about firing special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating the Russian government’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, contradicting several reports – or rumors – saying that he was indeed pondering the controversial and politically risky move.
When asked by reporters about the matter upon returning to the White House from Camp David, Trump was emphatic in saying that he was not considering firing the former FBI chief, who has already indicted four close Trump associates on various charges.
However, the president said he was bothered by the alleged illegal release of tens of thousands of e-mails from his transition team to Mueller’s team of investigators, something that the investigators deny.
In any case, the magnate said he was certain that no proof of collusion with the Kremlin by his campaign to influence the election will be found in those e-mails.
Mueller illegally obtained tens of thousands of e-mails, according to a lawyer with Trump’s transition team, local media reported Sunday.
In a letter sent to congressional committees, attorney Kory Langhofer, with the non-profit Trump for America group, said that Mueller’s team illegally received the e-mails linked to the investigation from the US government’s General Services Administration.
According to the letter, cited by Fox News and the Politico Web site, among other media outlets, the release of “tens of thousands” of e-mails containing “privileged information” could constitute “unlawful conduct” by the GSA staff in handing over transition documents to Mueller’s office.
If such conduct was unlawful, this could be a violation of the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure, according to Langhofer.
The Trump for America group used the GSA offices, staff and e-mail server during the period between Trump’s November 2016 election and his inauguration in January 2017.
Langhofer said in the letter that Mueller’s office obtained the records from the GSA despite being “aware” that that agency did not own or control the documents in question and that it used that material in its probe.
According to Politico, Mueller spokesman Peter Carr defended the special counsel’s work in a statement issued after publication of Langhofer’s letter.
“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.