Federalist Society executive Leonard Leo has led the Trump administration’s selection of judicial nominees. Leo has evaded any financial disclosures, despite his prominent role at the White House, as he apparently has not been designated as a government employee. This has allowed the Federalist Society to take advantage of more than $250 million from anonymous donors in just a three-year period, with no disclosure or evaluation of potential conflicts of interest for Leo. The Federalist Society’s influence has been obvious even before Trump assumed office; when running for president, Trump put 24 of the 25 Federalist Society’s recommended nominees on his judicial nominees list.
CREW has requested all records from the Office of Government Ethics on potential or actual federal employment of Leonard Leo and any financial interests he held or divested.
OGE records will clarify if the administration treats Leo as a federal employee despite the lack of any public documentation of official employment, and if the administration has evaluated any potential conflicts of interest. The public deserves to know if Leo is receiving undue special access and to what extent the government is encouraging special interests to shape our judicial system.