Newly obtained tax records shed additional light on the web of “dark money” organizations tied to President Donald Trump’s top judicial adviser that were used to funnel millions to organizations that boosted the Supreme Court nominations of Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
The Freedom and Opportunity Fund is helmed by Leonard Leo, a Trump confidante and longtime executive vice president at the Federalist Society, a national conservative and libertarian lawyers network based in Washington, D.C.
Between its inception in 2016 and 2017, the fund donated $4 million to the Independent Women’s Voice (IWV), a D.C.-based dark money organization, according to tax filings obtained by the Center for Responsive Politics and MapLight. IWV was vociferous in its defense of Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual assault by Christine Blasey Ford, a Stanford professor who knew the justice while he was in prep school. IWV’s president, Tammy Bruce, said on Fox News last year that Kavanaugh was “effectively being used as a stand-in for all perpetrators.”…
A central player in Leo’s network is a consulting and public relations firm called Creative Response Concepts (CRC), which gained notoriety for helping create Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the group that attacked 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry’s Vietnam war record.
CRC has received payments from many of the organizations in Leo’s web. The firm was paid $400,000 by BH Fund and $100,000 by America Engaged in 2017. JCN has regularly paid CRC, as has the Wellspring Committee, which has been JCN’s primary funder for many years. CRC has also worked with the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, a dark money-funded nonprofit that was previously run by Trump’s former acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.