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Federal judge who blocked Trump's border wall donated $20K to Obama

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 5/25/2019 Vaishnavee Sharma
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A federal judge who partially blocked President Trump’s plans to build a border wall along the United States-Mexico border previously donated almost $30,000 to former President Obama, other Democrats, and a political action committee.

U.S. District Court Judge Haywood Gilliam, an Obama appointee confirmed in 2014, donated $6,900 to Barack Obama’s debut campaign for president and $14,500 to his reelection campaign, according to federal election records. The same records also indicate he contributed $4,500 to the Democratic National Committee in 2012 and, between 2012 and 2015, sent $3,100 to the Covington Burling LLP PAC, which supports candidates from both parties. His contributions totaled $28,000.

Gilliam made the donations, first reported by the Epoch Times, prior to serving as a U.S. District judge. He had said during his confirmation hearing that he “would base my decisions solely on the facts of each case and the applicable precedent, without regard to any political ideology or motivation,” and that “any personal views would not interfere in any way with my ability to neutrally apply the law.”

Gilliam is one of three federal judges who have donated to Democratic candidates in the past and recently ruled against the Trump administration.

U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos and U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta, both Obama appointees, ruled to release Trump’s financial documents demanded by Democratic subpoenas as investigations into President Trump continue in the wake of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. U.S. Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the Mueller report stated that while it “does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,” and Democrats have insisted the report provides a basis for further investigations into the Trump campaign.

Ramos, who ruled that Deutsche Bank and Capital One can provide House Democrats with Trump’s financial records, donated $4,025 to Obama’s 2008 campaign for president, and also contributed $1,000 his then rival, Hillary Clinton. He made further donations to other Democrats, such as Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., and Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y., who serve on the House Financial Services and Intelligence committees. Ramos does not appear to have made political donations since being appointed to the federal court in 2011.

Mehta, who ruled against blocking a congressional committee’s subpoena of Mazars USA, Trump’s accounting firm, also donated $1,000 to Obama’s first campaign and doubled his donation for the former president’s reelection bid. Mehta also appeared to stop political donations after his 2014 federal appointment.

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