Irony Alert: Left-Wing Dark Money Group Accuses FedSoc Chair of Operating ‘Dark Money Network’

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March 7, 2023

A left-wing activist group this week launched a campaign to label Federalist Society chairman Leonard Leo as the head of a "dark money network." The group may not have a leg to stand on, considering the millions of dollars it receives in untraceable, dark money donations. 

Accountable.US on Monday unveiled a website dedicated to painting Leo as "the real Mr. MAGA," a shady figure wielding dark money to change the American judiciary. But the group is at the heart of the exact kind of network it decries. Since 2019, Accountable.US has taken nearly $9 million from the New Venture Fund, a nonprofit that funds progressive causes without disclosing its donors, according to tax filings. The group is part of a network of progressive groups funded by the progressive billionaire George Soros, which seeks to pack the Supreme Court to dilute the votes of conservative justices.

This is the latest example of Democratic groups complaining about dark money while raking it in themselves. According to the New York Times, the largest Democrat-aligned dark money organizations spent more than $1.5 billion in 2020, compared with $900 million for Republican dark money groups. 

Progressive groups have increasingly set their sights on Leo over his advocacy for conservative judges in the federal judiciary and Supreme Court. Activists also blame Leo, the former vice president of the influential Federalist Society, for laying the groundwork to overturn Roe v. Wade. 

But the New Venture Fund has given millions of dollars to groups like Demand Justice, which has led calls to increase the number of justices on the Supreme Court in order to dilute the votes of conservative justices. The fund and its related organizations, including Arabella Advisors and the Sixteen Thirty Fund, do not disclose their donors. But some prominent Democratic donors have disclosed their contributions to the organizations—including Soros, who has contributed around $35 million to the New Venture Fund since 2020. 

While Accountable.US accuses Leo of carrying out former president Donald Trump’s "MAGA agenda," the activists behind the progressive nonprofit recently launched the Congressional Integrity Project, an initiative to defend the Biden administration against congressional oversight and against investigations into President Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s foreign business dealings. 

The Congressional Integrity Project, which has received $1.5 million in donations from the Sixteen Thirty Fund, has colluded with the White House and members of Congress to stifle congressional investigations into the Biden administration and into the Biden family's business dealings. According to one report, the Congressional Integrity Project has coordinated with Rep. Eric Swalwell (D., Calif.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, to stymie the Republican probes. 

The Congressional Integrity Project hosted a conference call with reporters last Friday to tout the release of a dossier from House Judiciary Committee Democrats that smears three former FBI agents-turned-whistleblowers who say the bureau unfairly targets conservative groups. It is unclear if the group helped with the dossier. 

Accountable.US did not respond to a request for comment.