House Committees Call Out D.C. Attorney General for Targeting Conservatives

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

By now, we shouldn't be surprised when the Biden administration and other leftists target conservatives simply for holding different beliefs. Of course, in the eyes of the left, it's not that simple. Believing in saving the lives of babies, the scientific facts of male and female gender, and the integrity of our elections — all of that is dangerous, and the left must stamp out anything that threatens its hegemony.

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Thankfully, conservatives are fighting back. The latest example comes in a letter from the House Committee on the Judiciary and the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability to District of Columbia Attorney General Brian Schwalb. On Monday, Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and James Comer (R-Ky.) announced in the letter that their committees are investigating Schwalb for targeting conservative financier Leonard Leo.

For some context, Stephen Neukam wrote a piece at The Messenger on Monday with some details of Schwalb's investigation. Neukam reported that "D.C. Attorney General Brian Schwalb launched an investigation into Leonard Leo, co-chairman of the conservative Federalist Society, after one of Leo’s nonprofits paid tens of millions of dollars to one of Leo's for-profit companies."

"The watchdog complaint alleged that nonprofits affiliated with Leo paid over $73 million dating back to 2016 to the for-profit firms led by the conservative legal activist," Neukam added later in his article.

Jordan and Comer are concerned that Schwalb's investigation of Leo is part of a pattern of Democrats targeting conservatives, and they want to know exactly what Schwalb's office is up to.

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"Given prior attempts by state attorneys general to target conservative nonprofits and their donors—and your apparent political motivations for investigating Mr. Leo—the Committees are concerned about potential infringement on free association and donor privacy," the congressmen write.

What's particularly noteworthy is that the Leo investigation has ties to left-wing "dark money" groups. That "dark money" connection casts doubt on how independent Schwalb's investigation is.

"The basis for Schwalb's investigation is reportedly a complaint made by the Campaign for Accountability, an organization that has ties to Arabella [Advisors, a far-left "dark money" organization], and whose executive director sits on the board of a separate organization dedicated to advocating for Supreme Court 'ethics reforms,'" wrote The Sentinel Action Fund's Jessica Anderson at Newsweek last month. "The Campaign for Accountability was started at the Arabella-linked Hopewell Fund and has received approximately $2.2 million from the New Venture Fund, according to tax records."

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Comer and Jordan are concerned about the clearly political nature of this investigation. They also point out to Schwalb the potential ramifications of the probe of Leo.

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"The Committees are concerned that your office’s investigation may be improper and politically motivated," they write. "First, it appears that your office does not have jurisdiction over this matter because Mr. Leo and the organizations with which he is affiliated are, according to publicly available information, based outside of Washington, D.C. Worse yet, the Committees are troubled that your investigation could infringe upon the fundamental rights of donor privacy and free association."

The congressmen cite Supreme Court precedent that protects the privacy rights of donors. Then they point out to Schwalb that he should focus more on the problems in his own district rather than who conservatives are funding.

"There are serious problems occurring in Washington, D.C. that merit your attention, including the 27 percent increase in crime across all crime categories since last year," they write. "Contributing to this increase is the alarming rise in crime committed by juvenile offenders. Instead of using your office’s substantial resources to address these problems, however, your office has reportedly decided to dedicate those resources to a politically motivated probe that 'creates an unnecessary risk of chilling free speech.' The Committees will not tolerate any efforts to undermine donor privacy and chill association of American citizens."

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Jordan and Comer are giving Schwalb until November 13 to turn over all communication regarding the Leo investigation, including communication with the "dark money" organizations. Hopefully, Schwalb will cooperate (although who would be surprised if he didn't?). We'll be on the edge of our seats waiting to see what happens and whether these committees can make a dent in the obviously partisan political targeting that the left engages in.

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