The Mueller Probe: A Year-Old Hyperpartisan Circus

Robert Mueller on Capitol Hill in 2013. (Larry Downing/Reuters)
Democratic donors overwhelmingly dominate the special counsel’s legal team.

Thursday, May 17, marked one year since Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein named Robert Swan Mueller III as special counsel. His mission: To search from sea to shining sea for collusion between Russia and Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign. If Mueller has found anything concrete behind this collective hallucination, he must have stashed it in Fort Knox. In this government, the details of a recent White House meeting to stop leaks got leaked. It’s beyond belief that proof of Trump/Russia collusion exists but has not seeped out.

Mueller’s inquest has failed its stated purpose. However, it has thrived as a genuine example of an investigation so biased that 53 percent of adults in a May 8 CBS News poll call it “politically motivated.”

Amid accusations from the right, and even fair-minded liberals, that his team is terminally hostile to Trump, or at least certifiably pro-Hillary, Mueller could have begun to reverse this perception by hiring a Republican or a scrupulously apolitical prosecutor.

But no!

The newest identifiable name on Mueller’s roster is Uzodinma Enyinnaya Asonye. He is the 17th prosecutor and 12th Democratic donor on Mueller’s probe. Asonye gave $800 to Hillary Clinton in 2008 and another $100 in 2007 to ActBlue, “the largest source of funds for Democrats,” according to the Somerville, Mass., organization’s website. ActBlue “is a nonprofit, building fundraising technology for the left.”

A website called Legal Bisnow mentioned Asonye on July 7, 2008:

Potomac fever bit him while still in law school; after field organizing for John Kerry’s ’04 campaign in Broward County, Uzo made a beeline for DC to work for Jesse Jackson Jr. instead of returning to New Haven for his third year. Good thing Yale lets you take finals online.

As it happens, Mueller and former secretary of state John Kerry attended St. Paul’s School together and were both on the lacrosse team at the Concord, N.H., boarding school. The minutes of the March 14, 2001, meeting of the Cornell University Faculty Senate find Asonye named to the Ivy League school’s Curriculum Committee on Diversity. Asonye’s résumé doesn’t scream “Make America Great Again.” Nor should it. But it should not holler “I’m with her!” either.

Team Mueller should be scrupulously nonpartisan (e.g. no donors to either party or 2016 nominee) or at least look like America (split dialectically between Democrats and Republicans). Instead, as the Daily Caller confirms, Mueller’s 17 prosecutors resemble a local Democratic club.

  • 14 are Democrats
  • Three are party-unaffiliated
  • None is a Republican
  • Twelve are Democratic donors
  • One also is a Republican donor
  • Two maxed out as Hillary Clinton donors

Put another way, 82 percent of Mueller’s lawyers are Democrats, and 71 percent of them have contributed money to Democratic candidates and causes.

James Quarles did donate $2,500 to former Utah Republican congressman Jason Chaffetz and $250 to former GOP Virginia senator George Allen. But Quarles also maxed out to Hillary, as did Jeannie Rhee. Only two of Mueller’s Democrats, Ryan Dickey and Michael Dreeben, failed to contribute to their party. Donald J. Trump apparently received $0.00 from Team Mueller.

All told, Mueller’s lawyers donated $65,657 to federal-level Democrats, $11,850 to state-level Democrats, and $2,750 to federal Republicans. Within this $80,257 grand total, Democrats scored $77,507 (97 percent) while Republicans saw $2,750 (3 percent).

Money aside, Andrew Weissman famously attended Hillary Clinton’s Election Night bash. And bash is what Hillary aide Justin Cooper did with a hammer, as he demolished two of her subpoenaed mobile devices. Mueller attorney Aaron Zebley was Cooper’s lawyer.

Also, Jeannie Rhee represented the Clinton Foundation and Obama’s national-security aide Ben Rhodes. She also defended Hillary against litigation seeking her personal e-mails.

Mueller’s supporters usually note that he is a Republican who was appointed FBI director by GOP president George W. Bush, although his term was extended for two years by Obama, a Democrat. As special counsel, Mueller reports to the aforementioned Rod Rosenstein. He, in turn, was appointed by President Trump and confirmed by the Republican Senate.

Nonetheless, if Mueller’s effort is not a hyperpartisan, anti-Trump circus, it sure looks like one. And that mere appearance has shattered this entire enterprise’s credibility.

After one year, Mueller has indicted former Trump-campaign chairman Paul Manafort and secured guilty pleas from Trump aides Michael Flynn, Rick Gates, and George Papadopoulos and Dutch attorney Alex van der Zwann. But none of these legal actions, nor anything else, proves that Trump and Russia colluded to win the White House.

Robert Mueller should dismantle his big top, concede that there is nothing serious behind all the clowns and acrobats, and follow Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey into the sunset.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online.

Most Popular


What Do Republican Voters Want?

The latest entry in the post-Trump conservatism sweepstakes was Marco Rubio’s speech at the Catholic University of America in early November. The Florida senator made the case for a “common-good capitalism” that looks on markets in the light of Catholic social thought. “We must remember that our nation ... Read More

The Houellebecqian Moment

We are living in the imagination of Michel Houellebecq. The bête noire of French literature has spent decades deploring the erosion of Western mores that he believes resulted from the sexual revolution of the 1960s. His last novel, Submission, revolved around the election of a theocratic Muslim to the French ... Read More

The Kaepernick Saga Drags On . . . off the Field

Colin Kaepernick’s workout for NFL teams in Atlanta this weekend did not run smoothly. The league announced an invitation to scouts from every team to watch Kaepernick work out and demonstrate that he was still ready to play. (As noted last week, the workout is oddly timed; the NFL season is just a bit past its ... Read More

‘Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself’

It was just one more segment to fill out the hour, and thereby fill the long 24 hours of Saturday’s cable news on November 2. Or so it seemed. Navy SEAL Mike Ritland was on the Fox News program Watters World to talk to Jesse Watters about trained German shepherds like the one used in the raid that found ... Read More