Trump officials demand Mueller return thousands of emails

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Special counsel Robert Mueller, the former FBI director now overseeing a sweeping investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 elections and any possible ties to President Donald Trump and his associates, secretly obtained tens of thousands of emails from the administration's transition team. While Trump's team has insisted that former GSA general counsel Richard Beckler had assured them that they "owned and controlled" the emails, BuzzFeed wrote, Loewentritt disputed that account and Beckler has since died.

"As the White House has consistently said for months, there is no consideration of firing the special counsel", Mr. Cobb said.

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

Senator-elect Doug Jones, D-Alabama, told "State of the Union" that he believes the investigation will roll on, but added that "anybody would need to be concerned if Bob Mueller was sacked".

"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. Mueller and his team acquired thousands of emails sent and received by members of the Trump for America transition group from the General Services Administration, the agency charged with safekeeping all transition materials.

Langhofer puts much of the blame for the move on a career government employee, GSA Deputy Counsel Lenny Loewentritt, who he says was present for those assurances.

Numerous emails that Mueller's investigators have now include national security discussions about possible Trump worldwide aims as well as candid assessments of candidates for top government posts, said those familiar with the transition.

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The special counsel reportedly got the email trove from the GSA, not from Trump For America, a still-functioning arm of Trump's transition team.

This dispute over the lawful obtaining of this batch of emails is the latest in a series of ongoing attacks, particularly from conservatives, on the Department of Justice investigation looking into what role Russian Federation played in interfering in the 2016 presidential election. They also follow Mueller's removal of one of his investigators after learning he had exchanged text messages with an Federal Bureau of Investigation attorney that showed bias against then-candidate Trump.

There are rumors around Washington suggesting Trump's firing of Mueller is imminent.

"I don't have any reason to believe the President is going to do that", Mnuchin later said, adding, "but that's obviously up to him".

During a House Judiciary Committee hearing last week, Republicans slammed the special counsel's office over what they said was the Democratic-leaning bias of some of its key lawyers and investigators. "If I felt he was doing something inappropriate, I would take action".

On Saturday, the White House repeated that Trump had no intentions of firing Mueller amid fresh speculation from a congresswoman that he would be doing so. "We have continued to cooperate in every way possible with that investigation". Both men pleaded guilty to lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents.