Christian Advocates Serving Evangelicals (CASE), the charity run by Donald Trump’s attorney Jay Sekulow, has been sending out donation requests for years that read: “Every gift will make a huge difference!’
What the Christian nonprofit left out were the words “to the Sekulows.”
Standing accused of funneling $60 million from his Christian nonprofit into his family’s bank accounts, Sekulow has spent years targeting the poor so he could make tens of millions of dollars for himself, his family and his businesses.
A close ally of wacko televangelist Pat Robertson, Sekulow made his name in Washington by waging war against abortion rights and efforts to legalize same-sex marriage. Referred to as a “good Christian” by his evangelical peers, the Christian mucky muck lawyer recently joined the team representing Trump in the special investigation into the campaign’s ties to Russia.
Now, I could be wrong, but grifting in the name of Jesus doesn’t make anyone a “good Christian.” I mean, what would Jesus say?
Sekulow approved the telemarketing plan in 2009, instructing his telemarketers to spread bleak warnings about topics including abortion, Sharia law and Barack Obama. Telemarketers for CASE were given scripts that had them urge the needy to make a “sacrificial gift” of a contribution to the group.
I certainly understand how being unemployed/having limited funds would make it EXTREMELY DIFFICULT to help with a gift right now,” said a scripted line designated for people who are “unemployed” or “have no money.”
“And we don’t ever want to put you in a financial bind,” the script continued.
“Could you possibly make a small sacrificial gift of even $20 within the next three weeks? If not, I understand.”
“It’s time to let the president know that his vision of America is obscured and represents a dangerous threat to the Judea-Christian [sic] values that have been the cornerstone of our republic,” one script from 2015 said.
A 2013 script warned listeners that Obama’s signature healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act, promised to give Planned Parenthood federal funding to open abortion referral clinics “in your child’s or grandchild’s middle school or high school”.
All in all, the Christian charity brought more than $60 million to Sekulows since 2000. Tens of millions paid Sekulow, his wife, his sons, his brother, his sister-in-law, his niece and nephew, and their firms. Sekulow has also used CASE to provide a series of unusual loans and property deals to the Sekulow family.
“I can’t imagine this situation being acceptable,” said Arthur Rieman, managing attorney at the California-based Law Firm for Nonprofits. “That kind of money is practically unheard of in the nonprofit world, and these kinds of transactions I could never justify.”
As the newspaper reports:
Since 2000, a law firm co-owned by Sekulow, the Constitutional Litigation and Advocacy Group, has been paid more than $25m by the nonprofits for legal services. During the same period, Sekulow’s company Regency Productions, which produces his talk radio show, was paid $11.3m for production services.
Sekulow also personally received other compensation totalling $3.3m. Pam Sekulow, his wife, has been paid more than $1.2m in compensation for serving as treasurer and secretary of Case.
Sekulow’s brother, Gary, the chief operating officer of the nonprofits, has been paid $9.2m in salary and benefits by them since 2000. Gary Sekulow has stated in Internal Revenue Service (IRS) filings that he works 40 hours per week – the equivalent of a full-time job – for each of the nonprofits. Filers are told to specify if any of the hours were spent on work for “related organizations”. He does not.
Meanwhile, a company run by Gary’s wife, Kim Sekulow, has received $6.2m since 2000 in fees for media production services and for the lease of a private jet, which it owned jointly with Jay Sekulow’s company Regency Productions. The jet was made available for the use of Jay and Pam Sekulow, according to corporate filings.
Jay’s two sons, and Gary’s son and daughter, have also shared at least $1.7m in compensation for work done for the nonprofits since 2000.
The Sekulows are also involved in some unusual financial agreements and property deals with their own nonprofits, including a Washington townhouse bought with $1.5 million in contributions from its financially-trapped supporters. Sekulow’s son Jason, the director of CASE, is the resident.
Why is it always those who claim to be so goddamn holy end up always being the worst kind of people in the world? To paraphrase Woody Allen, if Jesus came back and saw what Sekulow was doing in his name, he’d never stop throwing up.
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