Trump lawyer says Mueller obtained transition emails illegally

A lawyer for President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff: Surveillance warrant docs show that Nunes memo 'misrepresented and distorted these applications' Chicago detention facility under investigation following allegations of abuse of migrant children Ex-Trump aide: Surveillance warrants are 'complete ignorance' and 'insanity' MORE's transition team said Saturday that Robert Mueller's special counsel office obtained tens of thousands of emails from the Trump transition organization illegally, Reuters reported.

Kory Langhofer, counsel to Trump for America (TFA), wrote a letter to several congressional committees claiming that Mueller's team improperly obtained thousands of emails from the General Services Administration (GSA), where the Trump transition team housed its staffers during the transition.

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Langhofer's letter accuses the GSA of “unlawfully produc[ing] TFA’s private materials, including privileged communications, to the Special Counsel’s Office,” according to Reuters.

The illegally obtained documents include “tens of thousands of emails," the letter adds.

The move from Mueller's team to obtain the emails from the GSA stymied efforts from transition officials, who were prepared for Mueller's request for the emails and had separated messages they believed contained privileged information. Mueller now has access to all of them.

“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," Mueller's spokesman Peter Carr told The Hill in a statement.

Langhofer's letter, which was sent to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, calls on the committees "to protect future presidential transitions from having their private records misappropriated by government agencies, particularly in the context of sensitive investigations intersecting with political motives.”

Mueller's investigation entered a new phase earlier this month when former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia.

In a statement, the former Trump aide pledged to cooperate fully with the investigation, which has also ensnared other campaign officials including Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortFailings by WhatsApp, Signal and others highlight the need to take back our privacy The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and Congress at odds over Russia The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump eyes second Putin summit MORE.

-Updated Dec. 17 at 10:14 a.m.