Special counsel Robert Mueller has assembled a team of 13 top lawyers and investigators to handle the investigation into the alleged Trump-Russian collusion during the 2016 election.
Some of the legal experts chosen by Mueller have represented major American companies in court and have worked on cases ranging from Watergate to the Enron fraud scandal.
Concerns are already surfacing over the political leanings of some of the attorneys, with a few of them donating to Democratic parties in the past, according to Federal Election Commission records.
On Friday, Trump weighed in on the matter by tweeting:
You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history – led by some very bad and conflicted people! #MAGA
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2017
Here are five of Mueller’s new hires who have been publicly named so far:
Michael Dreeben, the deputy solicitor general overseeing the Department of Justice’s criminal docket, is regarded as one of the top criminal law experts in the federal government. He is also known for arguing more than 100 cases before the Supreme Court.
Andrew Weissmann formerly served as general counsel to the FBI under Mueller’s leadership. Weissman oversaw the Enron Task Force from 2002 to 2005 and the prosecutions of 34 people connected to the energy company. He also served as a federal prosecutor in the eastern district of New York, prosecuting mafia members and bosses.
Weissman is one of several attorneys in Mueller’s team that has donated to Democrats, although he does not appear to have donated in the 2016 election. He gave $2,300 to President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, and $2,000 to the Democratic National Committee in 2006, according to CNN’s review of FEC records.
Jeannie Rhee previously worked for the DOJ, serving as deputy assistant attorney general under former Attorney General Eric Holder. According to her website, she advised Holder and the Obama administration on issues pertaining to criminal law, criminal procedure, and executive issues. Critics also point out that Rhee represented Hillary Clinton in a 2015 lawsuit involving her private emails, as well as the Clinton Foundation in a 2015 racketeering lawsuit.
Rhee is also one of the members of Mueller’s team under scrutiny for her political donations, and has doled out more than $16,000 to Democrats since 2008, CNN reported. She maxed out her donations both in 2015 and 2016 to Clinton’s presidential campaign, giving a total of $5,400.
James Quarles was a former colleague of Mueller’s and served as an assistant special prosecutor in the Watergate investigation.
Quarles is also being scrutinized for donating almost $33,000 to politicians in past years. Although most of the donations went to Democrats — including Obama and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns — FEC records show he has also donated small amounts to Republicans such as Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz.
Aaron Zebley is an FBI staffer who worked in the counterterrorism division as a special agent before becoming the agency’s chief of staff under Mueller’s leadership. Additionally, he served as assistant US attorney in the national security and terrorism units before relocating to the DOJ, and finally to the WilmerHale firm in 2014.
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