The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the General Services Administration (GSA) undermined the Trump transition team by violating a memorandum of understanding between the Trump transition team and the GSA – when they complied with requests from the FBI and special counsel Robert Mueller’s office to provide private records on members of Trump’s team, according to a Senate report released on Friday.
As Just the News notes:
The majority staff report from both the Senate Committee on Finance and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs claims that officials from both the FBI and Mueller’s office “secretly sought and received access to the private records of Donald J. Trump’s presidential transition team, Trump for America, Inc.”
“They did so,” the report continues, “despite the terms of a memorandum of understanding between the Trump transition team and the General Services Administration...—the executive agency responsible for providing services to both candidates’ transition teams—that those records were the transition team’s private property that would not be retained at the conclusion of the transition.”
According to the report, the GSA – without notifying the White House – reached out to the FBI following Michael Flynn’s resignation as national security adviser and offered to retain records from the Trump transition team in early 2017. The records compiled eventually made their way into Mueller’s office, according to the report.
“At bottom,” continues the report, “the GSA and the FBI undermined the transition process by preserving Trump transition team records contrary to the terms of the memorandum of understanding, hiding that fact from the Trump transition team, and refusing to provide the team with copies of its own records.”
“These actions have called into question the GSA’s role as a neutral service provider, and those doubts have consequences,” the report reads. “Future presidential transition teams must have confidence that their use of government resources and facilities for internal communications and deliberations—including key decisions such as nominations, staffing, and significant policy changes—will not expose them to exploitation by third parties, including political opponents.”