FOIA DOC SHOCK: New Army of Activist-Group Attorneys Revealed, Escalation of AGs/Donor Involvement: - Climate Litigation Watch

FOIA DOC SHOCK: New Army of Activist-Group Attorneys Revealed, Escalation of AGs/Donor Involvement:

“Bloomberg AGs” taking on even more privately hired lawyers to aid activist group litigation; “emoluments” litigation tied to Bloomberg group.

The Washington Times reports on records obtained by the transparency group Energy Policy Advocates (EPA), showing the District of Columbia’s AG has brought at least one other, previously unreported climate-activist attorney into his office. This is in addition to his Michael Bloomberg-funded prosecutor.

Specifically, EPA obtained a “Donor Agreement” showing a private attorney “donating” his “legal services in relation to OAG’s investigation and potential lawsuit regarding the constitutionality of the actions of members of the federal government (amount not known).”

The attorney, Robert B. McKinstry Jr., is a longtime climate warrior. However, he says this agreement’s subject matter is to assist with “emoluments” investigations and lawsuits. The story suggests he is one of several outside attorneys supplied or arranged for by an activist-group donor for this purpose.

Toward impeaching and removing President Trump from office, DC AG Karl Racine filed an emoluments suit in 2017, along with Maryland AG Brian Frosh, claiming Trump is “violating anti-corruption provisions of the U.S. Constitution” (Racine is also seeking bids for outside firms to help him further assist the climate litigation industry).

Earlier this month the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the lower court to dismiss that case.

The “Donor Agreement” unveils some eye-opening overlaps. At bottom of the one-page McKinstry “Donor Agreement”, we see it was faxed to DC OAG by “CREW”. CREW is the acronym for Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington, a leading pro-impeachment organization which filed its own emoluments suit. CREW also is on the AGs’ own complaint, as additional outside legal counsel.

CREW now also apparently is providing private lawyers to AGs, who are effectively given badges to pursue the political litigation campaign that CREW is also advancing through its own civil suit.

This arrangement should sound familiar to CLW readers, with its parallels to Bloomberg’s multi-million dollar scheme to plant lawyers in sympathetic law enforcement offices.

The revelation of activist-provided in-house attorneys to pursue emoluments litigation reflects an escalation of the practice by ideological AGs to avail their law-enforcement offices as platforms for pursuing issues of concern to donors and activists, employing law enforcement and threats of investigations to obtain outcomes denied by the democratic process.

These outcomes can be financial — recall the plaintiffs’ bar successfully recruiting AGs to help give their tort campaign a lift. However, the objectives are typically policy outcomes frustrated by democracy — the “climate” agenda, losing the White House in 2016, or failure to gain traction on impeachment.

DC’s Racine also was one of Bloomberg’s partners in placing activist lawyers in OAGs to push the climate agenda. Racine’s co-plaintiff in the emoluments suit, Maryland’s AG Frosh, is none other than Bloomberg’s original “climate AG” recruiter.

Curiously, other emails show that Frosh used an event hosted by Bloomberg’s climateAG group to tout…emoluments litigation (note Team Frosh’s continuing, easy equation of the NYU group and Bloomberg.)

Other records obtained by EPA indicate Mr. McKinstry’s relationship with Frosh as well (GAO is engaged in litigation with Frosh to obtain whatever promises he made to Bloomberg to get his “pro bono special counsel” [sic; the lawyer actually is paid $125,000 by a Bloomberg group to work on Bloomberg priorities for Frosh]).

McKinstry is on “emoluments” correspondence with Deepak Gupta in still other records EPA obtained from the Pennsylvania AG’s office. Gupta filed CREW’s emoluments suit. The entirely redacted thread includes Pennsylvania AG Shapiro as well.

The privately funded network of attorneys pushing political agendas through law enforcement offices is a sprawling one.