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Mueller hires another Democrat-connected lawyer to investigate Russian interference and Trump

Special counsel Robet Mueller just hired another Obama-era attorney with Democratic connections. Greg Andres becomes the 16th lawyer to join the growing team. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

FBI special counsel Robert Mueller has tapped another lawyer who previously worked in the Obama administration to join his team investigating Russian interference in last year’s election.

According to Reuters, Mueller tapped Greg Andres to become the 16th lawyer to join the growing team. Andres began Tuesday.

Prior to joining Mueller’s team, Andres, 50, worked as a white-collar criminal defense attorney at Davis Polk & Wardwell, a private law firm in New York City. Before that, Andres served as the deputy assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice’s criminal division from 2010-12. While there, he oversaw the fraud unit and a unit that deals with foreign bribery, according to Reuters.

And just like several other members of Mueller’s team, Andres has several connections to Democrats.

In addition to working in the Obama administration, the Daily Caller reports that federal election records show Andres has donated to Democratic candidates' campaigns, most recently to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) in March.

He also has a connection through his wife, Ronnie Abrams, a federal district court judge who sits on the bench in southern New York. She was nominated to the seat by former President Barack Obama and came recommended by Gillibrand.

Mueller’s probe includes allegations that Trump’s presidential campaign had inappropriate contacts with Russian officials during last year’s election. It’s also investigating whether or not Trump obstructed justice when he fired James Comey as FBI director in May. That event led to Mueller’s appointment.

Mueller’s team of high-profile lawyers include Andrew Goldstein, the former head of the renowned public corruption unit at the Manhattan federal prosecutor’s office; Andrew Weissman, chief of the DOJ’s fraud section; and James Quarles, who served as an assistant special prosecutor during the Watergate investigation.

Republicans and supporters of Trump have widely criticized Mueller and his team because several of the lawyers have Democratic connections and have donated to Democratic campaigns — including Hillary Clinton’s last year. That history prevents the team from being unbiased, critics say.

One of the group of lawyers' most prominent critics is Trump, who has been unafraid to state publicly how he feels about Mueller and his team, several times calling the investigation a “witch hunt.” Trump has reportedly explored avenues to fire Mueller in recent weeks.

At least one congressman has come forward to demand Mueller’s resignation. Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) said Monday that Mueller must resign because his “conflicts of interest” — such has his friendship with Comey or his team’s Democratic-supporting history — make him a “partisan arbiter of justice."

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