Rep. Chabot to Deputy AG Rosenstein: Nine members of Mueller's team made campaign donations to Democrats

Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein is answering questions in Congress this morning. In the light of the clearly partisan views of Peter Strzok, which Ed wrote about this morning, Republicans are looking to question the partisanship of the team assembled by Special Counsel Mueller to investigate Russian interference in the election. Republican Rep. Steve Chabot spent most of his five minutes running down a list of political donations made by members of Mueller’s team.

“Let me just review a few facts about the supposedly unbiased group of people that Mr. Mueller pulled together,” Chabot began. He continued, “Nine of the 16 have made political contributions. To be fair, let’s just go through them in alphabetical order.

“First, Greg Andres gave $1000 dollars to the Democrat running to hold the seat, the Senate seat previously held by Barack Obama. He gave $2600 dollars to Democrat Senator Gillibrand, who just this week led the charge of Democratic Senators demanding that President Trump resign. And, oh yeah, Mr. Andres gave zero to the Trump campaign or to any Republican for that matter.

“Next, again in alphabetical order, Russ Atkinson. He donated to the Clinton campaign last year. Again, zero to the Trump campaign. Third, Kyle Freeny contributed to both Obama campaigns and to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Zero to the Trump campaign. Next, Andrew Goldstein. He donated $3300 dollars to both Obama campaigns again zero to the Trump campaign.

“Fifth, Elizabeth Freeloader who clerked for a liberal Supreme Court Justices Ginsburg and Kagan, contributed to both the Obama and Clinton campaigns and zero to Trump. Next, James Quarles. He’s contributed to the Democratic presidential campaigns of Dukakis, Kerry, Obama, and Hillary Clinton and Gore as well. He did contribute to former congressman Chaffetz and Senator Allen but he contributed over $20,000 dollars to Democratic House and Senate candidates and again gave zero to Trump.

“Seventh, Jeannie Rhee. She actually represented, as was previously mentioned, Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation in several lawsuits. She’s donated $16,000 dollars to Democrats. Contributed $5,400 dollars to the Clinton campaign and zero to the Trump campaign.

“Eigth, Brandon Van Grack contributed to Act Blue the fundraising outfit organized to elect Democratic congressional candidates, contributed to the Obama presidential campaign and of course gave nothing to Trump. And finally, Andrew Weissmann. He contributed $2,000 to the Democratic National Committee, $2,300 to the Obama campaign, $2,300 to the Clinton campaign and zero to Donald Trump. He’s also the guy who praised the holdover acting attorney general, Susan Yates, for defying President Trump on the travel ban.

“Now, my question to you is how, with a straight face, can you say that this group of Democrat partisans are unbiased and will give President Trump a fair shake?”

After a pause, Rosentein replied, “Congressman I think it’s important to recognize that when we talk about political affiliation—that all demonstrated political affiliation. The issue of bias is something different.” He added, “We recognized we have employees with political opinions and it’s our responsiblity to those opinions do not influence their actions.”

In other words, this is the same response we hear from the editors and executives of liberal news outlets, i.e. sure there are a lot of partisans here but we strive to avoid letting any bias creep into our work. With regard to the news media, we’ve seen how well that works out over the past couple weeks.

Here’s the exchange between Rep. Chabot and Deputy AG Rosenstein: