President Trump reacts to cheering people on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, May 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Trump continued his complaints about the investigation by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III on Monday morning, again railing against the lawyers working for Mueller.
“The 13 Angry Democrats in charge of the Russian Witch Hunt are starting to find out that there is a Court System in place that actually protects people from injustice,” he wrote on Twitter, “and just wait ‘till the Courts get to see your unrevealed Conflicts of Interest!”
(The first line appears to be a “12 Angry Men” reference, maybe? He’s called them “13 hardened Democrats” in the past.)
Those conflicts of interest are likely the ones Trump has pointed to in the past: Past contributions to Democratic candidates for Congress and the presidency. Why this would not be known to federal judges, given that the data are publicly available, isn’t clear. In fact, we tallied that information Monday afternoon to get a sense of scale.
Since the 2000 cycle, members of Mueller’s team have given over $77,000 to Democratic candidates, including the elections of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
We’ve noted in the past that this fact needs to be tempered with recognition both that campaign contributions do not mean that federal investigators have abandoned their professional duty to be impartial and that the people leading the investigation, including Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, are Republicans.
But still: $77,000 to Democrats.
And it gets worse. Post analysis of FEC data reveals that the Mueller team’s boss’s boss’s boss’s boss has given far more to Democrats all by himself than all of Mueller’s team combined. He, too, gave to Hillary Clinton’s past campaigns, as well as those of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Since 2000, he’s given more than $330,000 to Democrats and Democratic committees.
This mystery person is, of course, Trump himself. That he’d given so much more to Democrats was noted on Twitter by journalist Marcy Wheeler; we decided to put numbers to it.
Trump’s contributions to Democrats dropped off sharply after Obama won election, a shift that mirrored Trump’s embrace of hard-right political rhetoric. After the 2008 cycle, Mueller’s team gave $44,500 to Democrats; Trump gave only $2,000.
In the four most recent cycles, Trump gave more than $300,000 to Republicans. Mueller’s team gave only $2,500.
It’s not unusual that trial attorneys give more to Democrats than Republicans. Seven-in-10 trial attorneys and district attorneys who made contributions in the 2012 and 2014 cycles gave to Democrats, according to FEC filings. Just as it’s not surprising that a businessman would give to politicians of both parties or, if he’s based in New York City, mostly to Democrats.
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.
Which are the “13 Angry Democrats” isn’t clear.