Of the 13 attorneys hired by special counsel Robert Mueller to aid him in his investigation of President Donald Trump’s election campaign activity, one previously defended the Clinton Foundation from allegations it operated as a veritable racketeering enterprise.
As noted in a Politico report from 2015, at the time attorney Jeannie Rhee defended the foundation from Freedom of Information Act requests filed by conservative activists who suspected the organization’s behavior was directly linked to former Secretary of State Hillary’s Clinton’s improper use of a private email server during her time in office.
Long story short, Rhee is clearly an ally of the left, as are a number of the other attorneys brought aboard Mueller’s team.
According to CNN, of the five attorneys who had been identified by Friday, three had “donated overwhelmingly to Democrats, totaling more than $53,000 since 1988,” including Rhee, Andrew Weissmann and James Quarles.
This is not good. It also doesn’t help that Mueller’s investigation has been expanded to include possible obstruction of justice by Trump, who Democrats claim violated the law when he expressed his hope to former FBI Director James Comey in a conversation four months ago that the bureau would drop its investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
And then there’s this: Mueller ran the FBI from 2001 to 2013. During that time, Comey regarded him as a mentor, while Mueller in turn viewed Comey as a protégé.
Do these facts pose a conflict of interest? It depends on who you ask. Some emphatically say yes, while others note that the special counsel has an impeccable record for honesty and integrity.
Among the naysayers is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who maintained in a Twitter post this week that those who believe Mueller will be fair in his investigation of Trump “are delusional.”
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
“I think Congress should now intervene and they should abolish the independent counsel,” he later told radio host John Catsimatidis, according to The Hill, reiterating his contention that the whole investigation is a nothing burger rooted in Comey’s alleged hatred for the president.
Andrew C. McCarthy disagrees. Writing for National Review, the conservative attorney and commentator argued that though “Mueller should never have been appointed … the political blowback of relieving him at this juncture would be extremely damaging to Trump’s presidency.”
Instead McCarthy thinks the Justice Department should intervene be revising Mueller’s jurisdiction and thus limiting his power.
But one thing is clear: Mueller’s staff is already getting attention for all the wrong reasons.
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