$80 million dark money group tied to Trump Supreme Court advisor, Leonard Leo - 2020-10-23

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F0.png $80 million dark money group tied to Trump Supreme Court advisor, Leonard Leo October 23, 2020, Robert Maguire, CREW

A close informal advisor to President Trump who has been deeply involved in all three of his Supreme Court nomination battles is the sole trustee of a mysterious group that brought in more than $80 million in 2018, according to a previously unreported tax return uncovered by CREW. The filing vastly expands the amount of money known to be flowing into the growing constellation of dark money groups tied to Federalist Society co-chairman Leonard Leo and provides new details about his role in a secretive firm that was responsible for one of the largest donations received by President Trump's inaugural committee.

What makes Rule of Law Trust (RLT) particularly interesting is that despite its $80 million haul, the group seems remarkably hollow. It claimed it had no employees and no volunteers in its first year and listed what appears to be a virtual office in Virginia as its main address. Its stated mission is "to advance conservative principles and causes through communications, research, strategy and assistance to other organizations," but there's no apparent public information to demonstrate what that work entails, not even a website.

In an unusual financial arrangement, the group also appears to have channeled nearly all of its $2.7 million in expenditures through the BH Group — an enigmatic firm that, the filing reveals, is partly owned by Leo. The company has long been known to be tied to Leo, but the nature of his role was unknown until now. Just months after it was formed in 2016, the BH Group gave $1 million to President Trump's inaugural committee — though the only known funds that it has received during that time came from other dark money groups allied with Leo. The ultimate source of the money remains unknown to this day.

Wikipedia cite:
{{cite news | first = Robert | last = Maguire | title = $80 million dark money group tied to Trump Supreme Court advisor, Leonard Leo | url = https://www.citizensforethics.org/reports-investigations/crew-investigations/80-million-dark-money-group-tied-to-trump-supreme-court-advisor-leonard-leo/ | work = CREW | date = October 23, 2020 | accessdate = October 25, 2020 }}