According to a recent legal analysis by Constitutional Attorney Robert Barnes of Law and Crime, this seizure violated the Fourth Amendment as well as attorney-client privilege protections.
The Mueller team has made the excuse that use of a government server waived any right to privacy to any email sent or received over that server. However, the Supreme Court (City of Ontario, Cal. V Quon, 560 U.S. 746(2010)) made it clear that “individuals do not lose Fourth Amenment rights” merely by using servers, offices, or equipment provided by the government.
Robert Barnes explained another precedent, Leventhal V Knapek, 266F.3d 64,74(2d Cir. 2001), “held that an employee has a reasonable expectation of privacy of the contents of his computer even when given specific notice the computers could not be used for personal purposes and the individual had authorized disclosure for technical and maintenance audits.”
Specifically government employees’ emails are protected even when sent over government email servers(Re County of Erie, 473 F.3d 413(2d Cir. 2007).
But attorney-client privileges are broader, according to Barnes. In Curto v Medical World Communications(E.D.N.Y. 2006) courts ruled that an ex-employee could assert attorney-client privilege against employers who tried to invoke emails contained on company computers even with the notice that documents stored therein were not protected.
There are several court precedents that cover, and should have prevented Mueller from what he did. Apparently seizing every single email from the Trump transition team, Mueller didn’t even attempt to categorize or search for specific emails related to the probe itself. This is exactly what the Supreme Court ruled against.
The emails that Robert Mueller seized were not emails by government employees, but by private individuals to be stored on a government server temporarily and publicly declared “private materials” by the National Archives.
The government email system is a tool that, in this case, was to be used to help the President transition into office. Barnes also points out, “The security and efficacy of government-owned servers for transition employees are not intended as a trap for the unwary to forever forfeit their privacy and privilege rights in their communications.”
While president transition teams have played an ambiguous role in U.S. government, it has always been the case that since they are in place before the inauguration for the president-elect, they are not considered a federal “agency”. Therefore, according to Professor John Turley, the National Archives recognizes transition all team materials therein as “private”.
Using the government email system as a trap for those targeted by the deep-state holds the potential for serious consequences. At the very least it undermines the Constitution. It also might encourage government employees to use private servers for government affairs as did Hillary Clinton, who by doing so for criminal reasons, increased the threat to the national security of the U.S.
Essentially what Mueller did violated the law by intentionally skipping over the court, the grand jury, and government imposed limits. The fact that Robert Mueller is seasoned in his field and knows better is alarming.
Reminiscent of J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI, Mueller’s blatant disregard for the Constitution and privacy involving highest office of the land proves that any citizen of the United States is at risk of having private property seized by those who may disagree with the Deep-State Media Complex.