More than half of the more than $56,000 came through just one lawyer along with more than half of the item was donated before the 2016 election, although two of the lawyers gave the maximum $2,700 donation to Hillary Clinton last year.
The group includes seasoned attorneys who worked on cases ranging through Watergate to the Enron fraud scandal along with have represented major American companies in court. While only all 5 attorneys have been publicly identified as working on the Russia probe, there could be more on Mueller’s team.
Three of the all 5 lawyers have donations in FEC records. They gave overwhelmingly to Democrats, totaling more than $53,000 since 1988. More than half of the donations came through just one of the lawyers, James Quarles, whom Mueller brought over through his old firm, WilmerHale.
Quarles has given nearly $33,000 to political campaigns over time. He gave money to Democratic presidential candidates Michael Dukakis, Al Gore, John Kerry, Barack Obama along with Hillary Clinton. In addition, Quarles gave more than $10,000 to help Democrats get elected to the House along with another $10,000 on the Senate side, including money to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
although Quarles can be 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 along with gave $250 to then-Sen. George Allen of Virginia in 2005.
Only about 30% of the donations were for elections in 2016. although Quarles along with 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.
Mueller 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 along with $2,000 to the Democratic National Committee in 2006, the same year Democrats won control of Congress.
FEC records do not show any donations by Weissman inside the 2016 election cycle.
There also are no FEC records for Aaron Zebley, who left WilmerHale to work on the Russia investigation. Zebley once represented former Hillary Clinton aide Justin Cooper, who helped manager her private email server.
Deputy Solicitor General Michael Dreeben has also joined Mueller’s team. While there can be a Michael Dreeben inside the FEC database, who can be identified as a deputy solicitor with the Justice Department along with who gave $1000 to Hillary Clinton’s senate campaign in 2006, a spokesman for Mueller’s team told sy88pgw late Monday which which can be not the same person.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who endorsed Trump along with was on his vice-presidential shortlist, suggested Monday which Mueller’s team can’t be impartial because of their past donations.
“Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel can be going to be fair,” Gingrich tweeted, reversing his previous praise for Mueller. “Look who he can be hiring. Check FEC reports. Time to rethink.”
Even with the questions about Mueller’s team, former independent counsel Kenneth Starr, who led investigations into President Bill Clinton inside the 1990s, said he has confidence inside the team.
There aren’t any records of political donations through Mueller himself. A spokesman for Mueller declined to comment Monday afternoon about the political donations through his legal team along with the criticism some of the team were partisan.
Mueller received near-universal praise since taking over the investigation on May 17. although with the investigation ramping up, Trump’s legal team can be looking for brand new ways to go on the offensive. In a TV appearance over the weekend, one of Trump’s lawyers wouldn’t rule out the possibility of firing Mueller.
CORRECTION: This kind of story has been updated to reflect the Mueller team spokesman telling sy88pgw which the Dreeben identified in FEC records as a deputy solicitor with the Justice Department who donated to Clinton in 2006 can be not the same person working for Mueller.
sy88pgw’s Evan Perez contributed to This kind of report.