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Taking fight public: Charging "unlawful conduct", Kory Langhofer, counsel for the transition team, wrote in a letter to congressional committees Saturday that "career staff at the General Services Administration. have unlawfully produced [transition team] private materials, including privileged communications, to the Special Counsel's Office".

Transitions officials told Axios that the emails were used as the basis for questioning officials.

Fox News first reported that Mueller's team acquired a document cache with communications from Trump's inner circle, including Michael Flynn, from the 2016 election to Trump's inauguration.

Loewentritt told BuzzFeed News that the GSA initially "suggested a warrant or subpoena" for the materials, but that the Special Counsel's Office determined the letter route was sufficient. It's pretty likely that agents involved in the investigation chose to pursue the emails under the radar so that they could surprise witnesses and other persons of interest in the investigation with questions-or they were skeptical that the Trump team would actually transfer over all of the emails. Trump campaign adviser George Papadoupolos and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, both for lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about their conversations with Russians. Beckler was "hospitalized and incapacitated" in August and died the following month.

A lawyer for TFA, who spoke on background because he was not authorized to speak to media, told NPR it found out on December 13 that GSA officials turned over the emails to the Special Counsel in September.

"Our Committee has direct jurisdiction over the Presidential Transition Act, and it simply does not support withholding transition team emails from criminal investigators", Cummings said.

Omarosa Disrupts a White House Tree-Trimming Party in SNL's Cold Open
Johansson tartly replies, "He's packing a go bag before the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrives". We live for surprise celebrity cameos, and Saturday Night Live definitely delivered this weekend.

Both Mueller's team and Loewentritt pushed back on Langhofer's accusations.

Mueller's probe into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to secure the USA presidential election has prompted a guilty plea from Flynn for lying about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. So the president has a legitimate case to make that Mueller is on a fishing expedition - a partisan witch hunt using taxpayer dollars to do the bidding of Democrats in Congress to find evidence to impeach the president.

A spokesman for the special counsel said in a statement that the emails were obtained properly.

The email records are incredibly sensitive, given they include national security discussions about possible global goals for Mr Trump and contain candid assessments of candidates for top government posts.

"Of course Mueller obtained emails from a third party", Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor, said, also on Twitter.