Notorious Left-Wing Domestic Terrorist Donated to Rep. Jerry Nadler, ‘Squad’ Members

Reps. Jerry Nadler and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.).
June 10, 2024

In June 2021, then-House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler decried "the right-wing extremists" and "terrorists" who breached the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Weeks later, the New York Democrat accepted a $1,000 campaign contribution from an old friend: domestic terrorist Susan Rosenberg, who led a communist group that firebombed the U.S. Senate offices and other buildings in its quest to overthrow the government.

 Rosenberg, whom Nadler helped obtain a presidential pardon in 2001, gave to Nadler’s campaign on July 26, 2021, according to campaign finance records. Since 2020, she has donated to "Squad" members Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.), Cori Bush (D., Mo.), Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.), Summer Lee (D., Pa.), and Jamaal Bowman (D., N.Y.), who accused former president Donald Trump of trying to "overthrow our government to advance his fascist cause."

The armed overthrow of the United States government was precisely Rosenberg’s aim as a member of the Weather Underground and May 19th Communist Organization, a female-led Marxist-Leninist group that bombed the U.S. Senate offices in 1983. The FBI said the May 19th Communist Organization sought "armed revolution" and the "overthrow of the United States government."

According to the FBI, Rosenberg was an associate of "revolutionary organizations which have a great propensity for criminal activity and violence against law enforcement officers." She was sentenced to 58 years in prison in 1988 for her activities with the groups, but pardoned by President Bill Clinton in 2001, following an aggressive lobbying campaign from Nadler.

Democrats’ willingness to accept donations from a notorious domestic terrorist could undercut their rhetoric on the January 6 riots.

Ocasio-Cortez, who received $410 from Rosenberg through this year, has called for a special congressional committee to investigate the "Jan. 6th domestic terrorist attack."

Nadler has claimed Antifa—the left-wing group behind riots in dozens of cities—was a "myth." Bush, who received $362 from Rosenberg, serves on the Judiciary subcommittee on crime, terrorism, and homeland security. She has used that perch to call for more aggressive investigations into the "domestic terrorists roaming around inside the Capitol," while criticizing the government for investigating "black identity extremists."

Rosenberg, who works as an adjunct professor at Hunter College, was sentenced to 58 years in prison in 1988 for possession of 600 pounds of explosives and machine guns that were to be used in politically motivated bombings. She was implicated, though never tried, in connection with the Weather Underground’s 1981 robbery of a Brinks armored truck, in which two New York police officers and a security guard were murdered. She cofounded the May 19th Communist Organization, which in addition to bombing the Senate offices, bombed the National War College, South African consulate, the Israeli Aircraft Industries Building, and the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association in New York.

Rosenberg, 68, would likely still be in jail if not for Nadler. The New York Democrat has said he "certainly helped" Rosenberg obtain a pardon from President Bill Clinton, who granted the reprieve on his last day in office, over the protests of police groups, then-New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, and Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer.

Nadler has defended his efforts to free Rosenberg, and said in a 2011 interview he thought Rosenberg should be released from jail over protests from prison officials concerned that she remained in contact with her "terrorist friends."

"So?" Nadler said he told prison officials about Rosenberg’s ongoing terrorist affiliations.

Since her release from prison, Rosenberg has reunited with some of the extremists with whom she previously worked. She serves on the board of the Alliance of Families for Justice, an anti-prison group whose founding board member is Kathy Boudin, a Weather Underground member who served 23 years in prison for murdering the two police officers in the Brinks truck robbery. The alliance has called for the release of six convicted cop killers from prison, claiming they are "freedom fighters" set up by the FBI because of their roles in the black liberation movement.

Adeel Mangi, President Joe Biden’s nominee for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, until recently served with Rosenberg on the alliance’s advisory board. Dozens of police groups, and at least three Democratic senators, oppose Mangi over that connection, though the White House has refused to pull his nomination. Mangi was recently removed from the alliance’s website, suggesting he is no longer on the advisory board.

Nadler’s congressional office referred a request for comment to his campaign, which did not respond. Rosenberg and the "Squad" members did not respond to requests for comment.