- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 14, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Yeah — about that team of nonpartisan, unbiased, above-politics band of merry investigators that special counsel Robert Mueller has collected to investigate Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election: They’re Democratic donors.

That’s right. Three of the members of Mueller’s team donated to Dems — including Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

CNN scoured Federal Election Commission records and found: “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 donations to Hillary Clinton last year.”

The news comes as Mueller announced just a few days ago he assembled a team of five attorneys to look into possible collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump’s campaign team.

That’s interesting, wouldn’t you say? And pertinent.

By the numbers, three of the five lawyers gave more than $53,000 to to Democrats since 1988. More than half of these donations — $33,000 worth — were from James Quarles, a former Mueller colleague from their WilmerHale firm days.

Among his selected recipients were Michael Dukakis, Al Gore, John Kerry, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Quarles also gave $10,000 for Democratic House campaigns and another $10,000 for Democratic Senate campaigns, CNN found.

In the interest of disclosure, he also donated $2,500 to Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz and $250 to then-Sen. George Allen, both Republicans.

Meanwhile, another attorney on the Mueller team, Jeannie Rhee, gave more than $16,000 to Democrats since 2008, including the maximum $2,700 to Clinton’s campaign last year. Rhee’s also provided legal representation for the Clinton Foundation, when it was being investigated and sued for racketeering charges. And as part and parcel of that suit? Rhee was hired to represent Clinton personally, to keep a conservative advocacy group from accessing her emails.

The list goes on — hat tip for CNN for actually spending the time to look into these records. And it certainly gives pause to the idea that Mueller’s special team is completely impartial and unbiased.

As Newt Gingrich tweeted: “Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair. Look who he is firing. Check FEC reports. Time to rethink.”

Good points. And while the fact that Mueller’s investigators donated to the political world shouldn’t necessarily disqualify them from serving, the fact they donated so much to one political party over another, for so many years, and opposed the very subject they’re investigating, Trump, does indeed smell. Caution is in order; expecting Mueller’s team to rise above the political fray to perform a law enforcement duty is a stretch, to put it mildly.

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