The Los Angeles Times reports that Jay Sekulow, one of President Donald Trump’s lawyers, often spreads conspiracy theories about the FBI and Justice Department on his radio show “Jay Sekulow Live” (more video below)
Sekulow — who is a civil lawyer not a criminal lawyer — often rants against about the Justice Department and the investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into the possible collusion between Russian and the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential race; so far there have been four indictments and two convictions.
Sekulow, who is not a journalist, told the Los Angeles Times: “If it’s in the news, I’ve got to cover it.”
Sekulow admitted his news coverage is not always complete because of Trump: “There have been times when there’s something in the news and we don’t comment on it. We always put the interests of the client first.”
Sekulow recently ranted about the FBI not saving five months of private text messages between a FBI agent and a Justice Department lawyer who worked on the Trump-Russia investigation, but were let go way back in July 2017 by Mueller:
This looks like obstruction of justice! I mean, come on! Missing, destroyed evidence!
The texts were actually recovered by the Department of Justice, noted The Hill.
Two sources recently told Foreign Policy that Trump pressured his senior aides in June 2017 to create a campaign to discredit senior FBI officials after learning they were going to be witnesses against him as part of Mueller’s investigation.
Sekulow’s son Jordan joined in on the conspiracy theme in December 2017 (video below) by saying FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe “should likely be going to jail. Here’s why. There was some plan put together in his office to either undermine the president if he got elected — so an attempted coup.”
Sekulow added to the unfounded claims: “A soft coup, I call it. No violence.”
Sekulow told the Los Angeles Times that he was supposedly serving his country by defending Trump: “If the president of the United States asks you for legal advice, and you’re a lawyer, and you’re serving your country and the Constitution, you do it.”
The Washington Post reported in September 2017 that Sekulow was being paid for his legal advice to Trump by the Republican National Committee’s legal fund; Sekulow made $131,250 in just one month.
Sekulow’s website claims that his radio show is broadcast on more than 1,050 stations, many of which are conservative and Christian.
Sekulow often asks his radio listeners to donate to his non-profit American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ).
Sekulow and his family members have made millions of dollars because their charities — the ACLJ and Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (Case) — pay Sekulow’s law firm the Constitutional Litigation and Advocacy Group and his radio production company, Regency Productions, reported The Guardian in June 2017.
The Guardian noted that Sekulow’s fundraising has included pleading with poor people to make donations:
More than 15,000 Americans were losing their jobs each day in June 2009, as the US struggled to climb out of a painful recession following its worst financial crisis in decades.
But Jay Sekulow, who is now an attorney to Donald Trump, had a private jet to finance. His law firm was expecting a $3m payday. And six-figure contracts for members of his family needed to be taken care of.
Documents obtained by the Guardian show Sekulow that month approved plans to push poor and jobless people to donate money to his Christian nonprofit, which since 2000 has steered more than $60m to Sekulow, his family and their businesses.
Telemarketers for the nonprofit, Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (Case), were instructed in contracts signed by Sekulow to urge people who pleaded poverty or said they were out of work to dig deep for a “sacrificial gift.”
“I can certainly understand how that would make it difficult for you to share a gift like that right now,” they told retirees who said they were on fixed incomes and had “no extra money” – before asking if they could spare “even $20 within the next three weeks”.
In addition to using tens of millions of dollars in donations to pay Sekulow, his wife, his sons, his brother, his sister-in-law, his niece and nephew and their firms, Case has also been used to provide a series of unusual loans and property deals to the Sekulow family.
Attorneys and other experts specializing in nonprofit law said the Sekulows risked violating a federal law against nonprofits paying excessive benefits to the people responsible for running them. Sekulow declined to detail how he ensured the payments were reasonable.
“This is all highly unusual, and it gives an appearance of conflicts of interest that any nonprofit should want to avoid,” said Daniel Borochoff, the president of CharityWatch, a Chicago-based group that monitors nonprofits.
Sekulow, 61, is the president of Case and the chief counsel of its sister organization, the American Center for Legal Justice (ACLJ). He has become one of Trump’s most vocal defenders since joining the team of attorneys representing the president amid investigations into possible ties between his campaign and Russia.
Sekulow did not respond to detailed questions from The Guardian, but Sekulow’s spokesman Gene Kapp said:
The financial arrangements between the ACLJ, Case and all related entities are regularly reviewed by outside independent compensation experts and have been determined to be reasonable. In addition, each entity has annual independent outside audits performed by certified public accounting firms. Further, the IRS has previously conducted audits of the ACLJ and Case and found them to be in full compliance of all applicable tax laws.