Not that facts matter anymore, but in the off chance there are some Red Hats stopping by today, it's time to bring some truth in response to Donald Trump's ongoing lies about the alleged political motives of Robert Mueller's team.
For several months now, Trump has been hurling tantrums about how the special counsel's office is loaded with partisan Democrats engaged in a witch hunt against Trump merely because he plays for the other team. Most recently, Trump demanded that the Department of Justice investigate the FBI to determine whether the Trump-Russia attack is being pursued somehow for political gain.
Trump says the Mueller team is composed of "13 angry Democrats."
Trump misspelled "collusion." He should've asked his wife "Melanie" for the correct spelling.
He's also lying because of course he is. He lies about everything. In this case, his lie most likely originated from the giggling couch tumors on Fox & Friends. We don't know for sure, so let's assume Trump personally and independently invented the claim. After all, he's the head of the party of personal responsibility, so let's hold him personally responsible irrespective of where the "13 angry Democrats" lie began.
We've done this before, but it bears repeating. The government, including the Justice Department and all of the congressional committees, are run by Republicans at the moment. As a refresher: Robert Mueller is a Republican; Rod Rosenstein is a Republican; Jeff Sessions is a Republican; Christpher Wray is Republican; Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York is a Republican; Dan Coates, the underworld boss of the Deep State and the Director of National Intelligence is Republican; and so on. Most of these men were also confirmed by the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate. Wray, Rosenstein, Sessions, Coates and Berman were all appointed by Trump.
A hive of Democrats, right?
But what about Mueller's team? Trump claims 13 of them are Democrats -- angry ones. While it's impossible to know whether they're angry, it's easy to tell whether they're Democrats: check their political donations, which can easily be found in public records. Before we do, it's probably germane to mention there are 18 top prosecutors on Mueller's team, not 13. So Trump was lying about that, too.
Nevertheless, according to The Washington Post, only five of the 18 lawyers donated to Hillary Clinton's campaign in 2016. Philip Bump noted: "Of the 18 attorneys we identified on Mueller's team, half gave no money to anyone, according to our analysis. Another five gave $1,000 or less. The one who gave the most also gave to two Republicans." We don't know if any of Mueller's lawyers are registered Democrats. However, we know that eight gave money to Democrats, nine didn't give money to anyone, and one of the lawyers gave money to candidates of both parties.
- Donated to Democrats: 8
- Donated to no one: 9
- Donated to both: 1
And in convenient pie-chart form:
And what about the amount of money the Democratic donors have given over the years? Bump reported that the Mueller prosecutors who donated to Dems have given $77,000 since 2000. It seems like a lot of money until we note that the president himself -- Donald Trump -- has given $330,000 to Democrats in the past 18 years. Therefore if political donations are an indicator of bias, then Trump is far more guilty than the eight lawyers on Mueller's team who gave far less.
All that aside, here's an important question: who said a panel of anything has to be composed solely of members from the president's party alone? I mean, other than Trump, that is.
As I wrote in Salon today, if partisanship in an investigation invalidates its findings, then the Red Hats ought to renounce the investigations into Benghazi and Hillary Clinton's email server because both probes were conducted by Republican-led committees. Trump's merely exploiting the patina of partisanship in order to wiggle out of legal peril, inventing tall tales about "13 angry Democrats" in the process. None of it is true, and none of it will stand in the way of justice being served.