Legal Law

Biglaw Agency Reportedly Funneled Cash To Spy On Suspected Enemies Of Donald Trump

The New York Times came out with a blockbuster of an article yesterday detailing the work of Project Veritas during the Trump administration. According to the report, the fear of a so-called “deep state” seeking to undermine the agenda of Donald Trump led to involved surveillance plans against suspected enemies.

It’s truly some through the looking glass shit:

A network of conservative activists, aided by a British former spy, mounted a campaign during the Trump administration to discredit perceived enemies of President Trump inside the government, according to documents and people involved in the operations.

The campaign included a planned sting operation against Mr. Trump’s national security adviser at the time, H.R. McMaster, and secret surveillance operations against F.B.I. employees, aimed at exposing anti-Trump sentiment in the bureau’s ranks.

It’s an unsettling look at late-stage American democracy that details the proposed sting operation against then-national security adviser H.R. McMaster, designed to get him to resign since it was suspected he was disloyal to Trump. Project Veritas also reportedly set up surveillance ops to target FBI employees that harbored disparaging feelings towards the president.

The operations against the F.B.I., run by the conservative group Project Veritas, were conducted from a large home in the Georgetown section of Washington that rented for $10,000 per month. Female undercover operatives arranged dates with the F.B.I. employees with the aim of secretly recording them making disparaging comments about Mr. Trump.

The campaign shows the obsession that some of Mr. Trump’s allies had about a shadowy “deep state” trying to blunt his agenda — and the lengths that some were willing to go to try to purge the government of those believed to be disloyal to the president.

While documenting the slo-mo fall of the republic is fascinating, what really caught the attention of Above the Law was Biglaw’s involvement, specifically Atlanta-based Alston & Bird.

In 2019, [Project Veritas] received a $1 million contribution made through the law firm Alston & Bird, according to a financial document obtained by The Times. The firm has declined to say on whose behalf the contribution was made.

Yikestown. While obviously firms do all sorts of stuff they may not agree with at the behest of clients, this really goes beyond. I mean who, besides other nation-states, organizes spying of members of the American security apparatus? Well, I guess Alston & Bird knows the answer to that question.

And at least now the kind of work A&B is down for is out there. Potential first-year associates, laterals, and firm clients can do what they will with that intel.

headshotKathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, and host of The Jabot podcast. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter (@Kathryn1).

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