Offbeat $1 million mystery gift to inauguration traced to conservative legal activists

03:30  15 may  2018
03:30  15 may  2018 Source:

Portugal president vetoes gender law

  Portugal president vetoes gender law The law would have allowed those from the age of 16 to change their legal gender without a medical test.Portugal's President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has vetoed a law that would make it easier for people to change their legal gender.

First name

As if the passing of the presidential torch from progressive Obama to the blunt, businessman Donald Trump couldn’t be “awkward” enough, throw in a mystery gift between first ladies and you’ve got yourself an intrigue. We know first -hand that censorship against conservative news is real.

Debra Jo Rupp, Donald Trump standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera: Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Jr. administers the oath of office to President Donald Trump during the 58th Presidential Inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017 in Washington, D.C. © Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Jr. administers the oath of office to President Donald Trump during the 58th Presidential Inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017 in Washington, D.C. WASHINGTON - One of the largest contributions to President Donald Trump's inaugural committee in 2016 appears to have been orchestrated by a set of powerful conservative legal activists who have since been put in the driver's seat of the administration's push to select and nominate federal judges.

The $1 million inaugural gift came from a Northern Virginia company called BH Group LLC. Unlike other generous corporate inaugural donors, like Bank of America and Dow Chemical, though, BH Group was a cipher, and likely was set up solely to prevent disclosure of the actual donor's name.

How "Doug the dog" helped cops nab student accused of changing grades

  How “Doug the dog" helps find evidence after student is accused of hacking into his school’s computer networkCONCORD, Calif. — A Bay Area student has been accused of hacking into his school's computer network to change grades. CBS San Francisco reports Concord police say it started with a simple e-mail from an Ygnacio Valley High School student to his teachers.

Several donors with those ties contributed large sums to the non-profit fundraising entity – gifts that topped out at $ 1 million dollars, according to public records. Special counsel investigators have also asked witnesses about specific inauguration donors

The mission of Conservative Review® is to provide best-in-class analysis and commentary on conservative political speech, votes, positions, and elections. CRTV is an all-digital, conservative network, distributed over the internet to all of your favorite devices.

Almost nothing is known about the company, including who runs it or its reason for being beyond writing a seven-figure check on Dec. 22, 2016, almost a month before Trump was sworn in.

While the source of the money used to make the gift was masked from the public, a trail of clues puts the contribution at the doorstep of some of the same actors - most notably Leonard Leo, an executive vice president at the conservative Federalist Society - who have helped promote Trump's mission, and that of his White House counsel, Don McGahn, to fill judicial vacancies as quickly as he can with staunchly conservative, preferably young jurists.

Set up four months to the day before it made the donation, BH Group's address, as given in its Virginia incorporation papers, is a virtual office in Arlington; the only person identified on the filing is a Donna Smith.

On eve of Mother's Day, immigrant activists make a plea to keep families together

  On eve of Mother's Day, immigrant activists make a plea to keep families together During the week leading up to Mother's Day in previous years, Karla Estrada would wake up early to give her mom flowers and a teddy bear before she went to work, and would cook her dinner when she got home. This Sunday will be Estrada's first Mother's Day away from her mom, Gloria, who, along with her father, Angel, voluntarily returned to Mexico last June after her brother was deported. They had been in the U.S. illegally for more than two decades.

Gift Subscriptions. Contact Us. Help Desk. What neither authorities nor the protesters apparently realized was that conservative activist James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas had already infiltrated key The first signs of trouble during the inauguration festivities occurred outside the DeploraBall.

They crucified conservative Dinesh D'Souza for doing so much less than Rosie did. He didn't fake names. Even her closest family and friends had no idea she was worth millions after living most her life on a secretary's salary.

That name, while common, matches the name of a longtime paralegal at the political law firm Holtzman Vogel Josefiak Torchinsky, whose Warrenton, Va., office was listed as the Trump inaugural committee's main address on the tax return it filed last February.

Holtzman Vogel is a Republican firm known for specializing in creative legal maneuvers that allow donors to conservative causes to remain anonymous, at least to the public.

In March, when a reporter tried to speak with Donna Smith about the BH Group, Michael Bayes, a partner at the firm, responded instead, saying, "We don't have any comment on client matters."

Another connection to the BH Group was revealed in November 2017, when a politically active nonprofit called the Wellspring Committee filed tax documents showing a $750,000 payment to the newly minted firm for "Public Relations."

That's a substantial payment, particularly given that the BH Group does not appear to have marketed itself as a public relations firm. The group doesn't seem to have a website or any listings that advertise its services.

Donald Trump and the Case of the $107,000,000

  Donald Trump and the Case of the $107,000,000 No one seems to know how Team Trump managed to spend $107 million in donations for his inaugurationDonald Trump spent far less on his presidential campaign than Hillary Clinton did, but the eye-popping money surrounding his inauguration weekend raises a few questions. The president’s inaugural committee, which is supposed to be a nonprofit organization, brought in $107 million in donations and used nearly all of it, far exceeding the money spent by Barack Obama in 2009 ($55 million) and in 2013 ($43 million).

James Woods Issues Perfect Reality Check to Michelle Obama for Her ‘Forever First Lady’ Remarks. Homeless Man Breaks Into California Governor’s Mansion Because He’s an ‘Open-Door Policy’ Guy. Report: Darnold’s first play in Jets uniform spells trouble for organization.

We’ve teamed up with Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal to deliver you the most popular conservative news around the internet. Teen Girl Surprises Classmate with Gift That Leaves Him Sobbing. Jason Witten gets unbelievable retirement gift from Jerry Jones.

Similarly, the Wellspring Committee is a notoriously secretive Virginia nonprofit, with no demonstrable public-facing operations, no website for publicizing them and only three employees.

It's also not clear why a group like Wellspring would need costly public relations assistance. Its representatives did not respond to requests to comment for this story.

The group only has a single board member, Neil Corkery, and almost all of its money in 2016 went out the door as grants to other conservative organizations or as payment to the BH Group.

Wellspring was practically the sole funder in 2016, to the tune of nearly $23.5 million, of the Judicial Crisis Network - a group that poured millions into stopping the Senate from confirming former President Barack Obama's Supreme Court pick in the last year of his term, leaving an open slot for Trump to fill.

Legally, experts say there would be no problem with the Wellspring Committee giving $750,000 to the inaugural committee directly or, likely, giving it to the BH Group for that purpose; it's not clear that straw donor rules apply to inaugural committees.

Saudis detain women's advocates ahead of driving ban lift: HRW

  Saudis detain women's advocates ahead of driving ban lift: HRW Saudi authorities have arrested seven prominent women's rights advocates, just weeks before the kingdom's longstanding driving ban on women is set to be lifted, Human Rights Watch said Saturday. While the reasons behind the arrests are not clear, activists told HRW that in September 2017, "the royal court had called the country's prominent activists ... and warned them not to speak to the media." "The calls were made the same day the authorities announced that they would lift the driving ban on women," HRW said.

Palace Releases First Photos of Prince Louis, People Immediately Notice 1 Major Detail. We've Never Seen James Woods as Angry as He Got for Sarah. Kanye Slams Obama with Bombshell Tweet… Roseanne Flies in to Finish Him Off.

Several donors with those ties contributed large sums to the non-profit fundraising entity – gifts that topped out at $ 1 million dollars, according to public records. Special counsel investigators have also asked witnesses about specific inauguration donors

However, Wellspring's characterization of the payment might raise issues for the nonprofit, if the check wasn't in fact for services rendered.

If Wellspring "intentionally misrepresented the payment" on its tax filing, said Lloyd Mayer, a tax professor at the University of Notre Dame, in an email, "that would in theory raise perjury concerns." The IRS, however, rarely pursues cases based on inaccuracies in an organization's tax filings.

At the center of the convoluted network through which the inaugural contribution flowed is Leo, the executive vice president at the Federalist Society, one of the nation's most influential conservative legal organizations - to which some say the White House has outsourced its judicial nomination process.

For example, when then-Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch was asked how he had come to Trump's attention, he wrote, "On about December 2, 2016, I was contacted by Leonard Leo."

Steven Calabresi, a Federalist co-founder and board member, told The Hill last year that Leo's work offering guidance to the White House is solely in his capacity as an individual citizen.

But helping him in this task, according to The New York Times, is lawyer Ann Corkery, the wife of Neil Corkery, the Wellspring Committee's president. Ann herself was president of Wellspring from its founding in 2008 until 2015.

RNC paid nearly half a million dollars to law firm representing Hope Hicks and others in Russia probes

  RNC paid nearly half a million dollars to law firm representing Hope Hicks and others in Russia probes The latest disclosure by the Republican National Committee adds to the mounting legal fees associated with the Russia investigations.The RNC's $451,780 payment to Trout Cacheris & Janis adds to the mounting legal fees associated with the investigations by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and several congressional committees of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.

21, a day after Donald Trump's presidential inauguration . As Salon's Gary Legum argued, "Does anyone think a person who will put up $ 1 million to spend a few days Hiding the donors' names is "problematic on so many levels," said Larry Noble, the general counsel of the Campaign Legal Center.

The entire current legal strategy of the conservative legal movement has been stymied by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Additionally, abortion rights activists were already hoping to woo Justice Anthony Kennedy to their side, and the prospect of a muddled decision may make him more willing to

The assistance between Leo and the Corkerys goes both ways. According to one source close to the three of them, Leo is directly involved in raising much of the anonymous money the Wellspring Committee brings in every year.

None of the three responded to requests for comment.

Though the source couldn't confirm Leo's role in the BH Group, Leo himself recently made the connection in a campaign finance filing reported to the Federal Election Commission: He listed "BH Group" as his employer.

It's unlikely that Leo himself is the source of the $1 million, but his role at the Federalist Society allows him to meet and mingle with some of the wealthiest conservative donors in the country. The organization counts among its funders conservative billionaires like Charles and David Koch, as well as industry groups like the Chamber of Commerce and Fortune 500 companies like Walmart and Pfizer, according to its 2017 annual report.

Leo and another vice president at the Federalist Society, Jonathan Bunch, are also involved in a nonprofit called the BH Fund. A public records request by alumni and students at George Mason University shows that the BH Fund was set up to enforce a donor agreement with GMU's Antonin Scalia Law School on behalf of an anonymous donor who pledged $20 million to the program, according to a report last year from Buzzfeed.

Last month, GMU's president, Angel Cabrera - who has come under pressure for allowing donors to dictate conditions in return for financial gifts - said that some agreements the school accepted in return for contributions "fall short of the standards of academic independence."

The donor providing the $20 million that Leo's BH Fund administers is "low-profile, very wealthy and on the young side," a source told McClatchy. But he or she is still anonymous.

As is the $1 million donor to Trump's inauguration. Anonymous, that is, to the public.

"The public doesn't know who is behind this million-dollar donation," Fischer wrote, "but the Trump administration very likely does. Special interests tend to give to an inauguration in order to buy influence, so whomever is behind this $1 million check presumably made their identity known to the incoming administration."

"It is hard to imagine," he went on, "that this anonymous donor funded the inauguration simply because they were dying to see 3 Doors Down perform at the Lincoln Memorial."


(Maguire is an investigator at the Center for Responsive Politics. McClatchy special correspondent Peter H. Stone contributed.)

Visit the McClatchy Washington Bureau at

Legal weed sales in California off to a less than smokin' start .
The legal cannabis industry in California hasn't been lit on fire just yet. According to recent numbers from industry metrics expert New Frontier Data, cannabis sales in the state since marijuana was made legal at the start of the year have been less than inspiring.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!