Law Firm That Caused Serious Security Breach at Gitmo Holds Hillary Fundraiser

Employees at firm have donated to Clinton campaigns, Clinton Foundation

Guantanamo Bay's two courthouses / AP
November 18, 2015

A law firm that caused a "serious breach of security" at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp by sending anti-American literature to detainees is scheduled on Tuesday to hold a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton, according to information obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

The firm, Paul, Weiss, has long been tied to the Clinton family, with its employees donating hundreds of thousands to its political campaigns and later cashing in on political appointments in the government.

The Nov. 19 fundraiser, which is being billed as a "conversation with Hillary," is currently being promoted on the Democratic presidential candidate’s website and costs attendees $2,700 per ticket.

The event is being held as the issue of Guantanamo prison returns to the political spotlight following renewed calls by the Obama administration to shutter the prison and transfer the remaining prisoners to the United States.

Paul, Weiss lawyers have played key roles in facilitating the release of inmates accused of committing acts of terrorism.

The firm has been at the center of efforts to free Guantanamo inmates and in 2006 was responsible for causing a "serious breach of security" at the prison camp when it was caught sending Arabic-language literature that encouraged prisoners to claim they were being tortured, according to reports.

The 18-page brochure, produced by Amnesty International, reportedly "portrayed America and its allies as waging a campaign of torture against Muslims around the globe," according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

It was discovered in the cell of a former inmate, Majeed Abdullah Al Joudi, an accused al Qaeda member who was freed from the prison in 2007 and sent to Saudi Arabia.

Once security personnel at the prison discovered the brochure, Al Joudi claimed that his lawyer, Julia Tarver Mason, a Paul, Weiss partner, had sent it to him. An investigation determined that the brochure was passed to at least a dozen other inmates, constituting what the camp’s former commander, Jay Hood, called a "serious breach of security."

The investigation further discovered that Mason had mailed the brochure to inmates using a privileged document categorization that prevents security personnel from screening the mail, a potential violation of a law that prohibits lawyers from providing clients with information pertaining to military operations and current events.

Paul, Weiss lawyers were banned from Guantanamo as a result of its actions, though the firm sued the government and later regained its access to the prison.

Additionally, Paul, Weiss lawyers won the release of at least two accused terrorists being held at Guantanamo, including Al Joudi and Yousef Al Shehri, who later resumed his tied with terrorists and was killed in a shootout after being freed from the prison.

The relationship between Paul, Weiss and the Clinton family stretches back years. Employees of the firm have donated more than $276,000 to Clinton’s political campaign, political action committees, and the Ready For Hillary Super PAC, according to financial disclosures.

The law firm has also donated to the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Health Access Initiative.

This relationship has benefitted Paul, Weiss employees, some of whom served under Clinton during her tenure as the secretary of state.

Todd Stern, a former Paul, Weiss employee, was appointed as Clinton’s special envoy for climate change and also served in Bill Clinton’s presidential administration.

Jeh Johnson, the current secretary of Homeland Security, was a former Paul, Weiss employee and was first appointed general counsel of the Department of the Air Force by Bill Clinton in 1998.

Two other former Paul, Weiss employees, Paul Bender and Melissa Prober, currently work as counselors at the Clinton Foundation.