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Special Counsel Mueller Adds Another Obama Ally To His Team

With each passing day, it's looking increasingly like the only people qualified to serve on Special Counsel Mueller's investigative team are lawyers who have either directly worked for and/or contributed to the campaigns of Barack Obama and/or Hillary Clinton.  As Reuters points out today, Mueller's latest hire is Greg Andres, a former DOJ attorney who was appointed during the Obama administartion and served under Attorney General Eric Holder.

A former U.S. Justice Department official has become the latest lawyer to join special counsel Robert Mueller's team investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election, a spokesman for the team confirmed.

 

Greg Andres started on Tuesday, becoming the 16th lawyer on the team, said Josh Stueve, a spokesman for the special counsel.

 

Most recently a white-collar criminal defense lawyer with New York law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, Andres, 50, served at the Justice Department from 2010 to 2012. He was deputy assistant attorney general in the criminal division, where he oversaw the fraud unit and managed the program that targeted illegal foreign bribery.

Here's more on Adres' background:

Among the cases Andres oversaw at the Justice Department was the prosecution of Texas financier Robert Allen Stanford, who was convicted in 2012 for operating an $8 billion Ponzi scheme.

 

Before that, Andres was a federal prosecutor in Brooklyn for over a decade, eventually serving as chief of the criminal division in the U.S. attorney's office there. He prosecuted several members of the Bonanno organized crime family, one of whom was accused of plotting to have Andres killed.

 

A graduate of Notre Dame and University of Chicago Law School, Andres was a Peace Corps volunteer in Benin from 1989 to 1992.

 

He is married to Ronnie Abrams, a U.S. district judge in Manhattan nominated to the bench in 2011 by Democratic President Barack Obama.

 

As we've pointed out before, several of Mueller's early, notable hires were all been contributors to Hillary's and/or Obama's previous campaigns and Jeannie Rhee actually represented the Clinton Foundation.

Michael Dreeben, who serves as the Justice Department’s deputy solicitor general, is working on a part-time basis for Mueller, The Washington Post reported Friday.

 

Dreeben donated $1,000 dollars to Hillary Clinton’s Senate political action committee (PAC), Friends of Hillary, while she ran for public office in New York. Dreeben did so while he served as the deputy solicitor general at the Justice Department.

 

Jeannie Rhee, another member of Mueller’s team, donated $5,400 to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign PAC Hillary for America.

 

Andrew Weissmann, who serves in a top post within the Justice Department’s fraud practice, is the most senior lawyer on the special counsel team, Bloomberg reported. He served as the FBI’s general counsel and the assistant director to Mueller when the special counsel was FBI director.

 

Before he worked at the FBI or Justice Department, Weissman worked at the law firm Jenner & Block LLP, during which he donated six times to political action committees for Obama in 2008 for a total of $4,700.

 

James Quarles, who served as an assistant special prosecutor on the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, has donated to over a dozen Democratic PACs since the late 1980s. He was also identified by the Washington Post as a member of Mueller's team.

 

Starting in 1987, Quarles donated to Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis’s presidential PAC, Dukakis for President. Since then, he has also contributed in 1999 to Sen. Al Gore’s run for the presidency, then-Sen. John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) presidential bid in 2005, Obama’s presidential PAC in 2008 and 2012, and Clinton’s presidential pac Hillary for America in 2016.

Of course, just yesterday House Judiciary Committee member, Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ), called on Mueller to resign over his alleged "conflicts of interest"...

"Bob Mueller is in clear violation of federal code and must resign to maintain the integrity of the investigation into alleged Russian ties," Franks said. "Those who worked under them have attested he and Jim Comey possess a close friendship, and they have delivered on-the-record statements effusing praise of one another."

 

"No one knows Mr. Mueller's true intentions, but neither can anyone dispute that he now clearly appears to be a partisan arbiter of justice. Accordingly, the law is also explicitly clear: he must step down based on this conflict of interest," Franks said.

 

"Already, this investigation has become suspect – reports have revealed at least four members of Mueller's team on the Russia probe donated to support Hillary Clinton for President, as President Trump pointed out. These obviously deliberate partisan hirings do not help convey impartiality," Franks said. "Until Mueller resigns, he will be in clear violation of the law, a reality that fundamentally undermines his role as Special Counsel and attending ability to execute the law."

...but somehow we don't suspect that's going to happen anytime soon.