Remember when President Donald Trump vehemently objected to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team of prosecutors just because some of them donated money to Democratic campaigns? Well, a new report shows that Trump’s legal team donated pile of cash to Senate Republicans prior to the impeachment trial.
Trump openly claimed that Mueller’s team was biased against him just because they happened to donate some money to Democratic campaigns or supported Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Election. But now his own legal team and the Senate Republicans they donated money to face the same accusations of bias. Only this time, the bias is obvious.
According to a report by the Center for Responsive Politics (CFPR), Ken Starr, Robert Ray, and Jay Sekulow have all donated cash to the most anti-impeachment Republicans in the Senate, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).
Starr, who on Monday lambasted what he called the “age of impeachment” before the Senate, gave $2,800 to McConnell in July 2019. Just after House Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry in September, Ray gave McConnell $5,600, the maximum allowed for the primary and general elections. OpenSecrets couldn’t identify any other federal contributions from the two during the 2020 cycle.
Among Starr’s other political contributions, he gave $2,700 to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) in 2017. Graham has emerged as one of Trump’s staunchest allies in the Senate, but he indicated Monday he’s interested in seeing what Bolton wrote in the manuscript.
Staunch Trump defenders Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and John Thune (R-S.D.) received donations from Sekulow.
Ray, who recently made an argument against impeachment that backfired, donated $5,600 to McConnell just this past September.
As you can see, these donations represent some serious conflicts of interest. Rather than see Trump’s lawyers as a defense team and weigh their arguments based on facts and evidence, Senate Republicans are going to see them as donors they don’t want to anger instead. By all rights, and Trump’s own logic, every Senate Republican who has taken money from a Trump lawyer should recuse themselves.
It may not be a coincidence that after these donations McConnell openly admitted that he would coordinate the impeachment trial with Trump and that Lindsey Graham said he doesn’t care what the evidence shows.
Think about it this way. Imagine if the defense attorneys in a criminal trial gave thousands of dollars to the jurors prior to the trial, and then those same jurors refused to consider the evidence and witness testimony proving that the defendant is guilty because they are afraid they won’t get any more cash if they do their duty as a juror. That’s what is happening in this Senate impeachment trial.
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