CNN reports, I say again, CNN reports that special counsel Robert Mueller is adding to his investigatory staff and he’s adding Democrat donors:
Three members of the legal team known to have been hired so far by special counsel Robert Mueller to handle the Russia investigation have given political donations almost exclusively to Democrats, according to a CNN analysis of Federal Election Commission records.
More than half of the more than $56,000 came from just one lawyer and more than half of it was donated before the 2016 election, but two of the lawyers gave the maximum $2,700 donation to Hillary Clinton last year.
Quarles has given nearly $33,000 to political campaigns over the years. He gave money to Democratic presidential candidates Michael Dukakis, Al Gore, John Kerry, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. In addition, Quarles gave more than $10,000 to help Democrats get elected to the House and another $10,000 on the Senate side, including money to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
But Quarles is also the only lawyer among Mueller’s team for which records were available who ever donated to Republicans. He gave $2,500 to Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz in 2015 and gave $250 to then-Sen. George Allen of Virginia in 2005.
Only about 30% of the donations were for elections in 2016. But Quarles and Jeannie Rhee, who also left WilmerHale to work on the Russia probe, gave the maximum contribution of $2,700 to Clinton’s campaign last year.
Rhee was the second-largest donor among Mueller’s known team. Rhee has donated more than $16,000 since 2008, all to Democrats. She maxed out to the Clinton campaign in 2016 and 2015, totaling $5,400. She also gave a total of $7,300 to Obama’s two presidential campaigns. She has already received attention for representing the Clinton Foundation in a racketeering lawsuit brought by a conservative advocacy group, and also represented Clinton herself in a lawsuit seeking access to her private emails.
Mueller, who was appointed to be FBI director by Republican President George W. Bush, also hired Andrew Weissmann to join his team. Weissmann, who led the Enron investigation, previously gave $2,300 to Obama’s first presidential campaign in 2008 and $2,000 to the Democratic National Committee in 2006, the same year Democrats won control of Congress.
This sort of astounds me. Mueller already has such close personal ties to James Comey and the conflict of interest so blatantly obvious that any investigation he conducts that looks at Comey’s firing is going to be suspect from the beginning. Why he would hire Democrat donors, particularly Democrat donors who have an association with the Clinton Foundation, to investigate a Republican president’s campaign beggars the imagination.
The basic rule of ethical conduct is that it is not sufficient to avoid impropriety, one has to avoid the appearance of impropriety. No matter what is in the hearts of a handful of major Democrat donors serving as investigators, there will forever be the appearance that the investigation was used to settle partisan scores. It is a dumb move by any innocent metric.
Either Mueller is totally tone deaf–which should disqualify him from his office–or he’s already decided that heads are going to roll. Maybe Newt Gingrich was onto something
Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair. Look who he is hiring.check fec reports. Time to rethink.
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) June 12, 2017