Warren’s Top Donors Include Individuals From Firms That Represent Corporations

Received hundreds of thousands of dollars from individuals in securities and investments; Wall Street lawyers

Elizabeth Warren
Elizabeth Warren / AP
June 28, 2016

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from the securities and investment sector.

Individuals working at law firms that represent major corporations and the Wall Street interests Warren condemns are also among her top financial backers.

Warren has long positioned herself as a blue-collar champion who takes on corporations and Wall Street interests, leading some to question how she can back Hillary Clinton. Clinton has collected $32 million from the securities and investment industry this election cycle, the most of any industry, on top of the $15 million the industry gave to her campaign for U.S. senator and the millions the Clintons have pocketed from their six-figure speeches to Wall Street.

Warren isn’t free from the industry either. Since she ran for Congress in 2011, she has collected more than $630,000 from individuals in the securities and investment industry, making it the sixth highest industry in political donations to her campaigns.

Warren also has received major backing from lawyers and law firms that represent Wall Street interests. $2.3 million in contributions have poured from the sector to her campaign’s coffers, the second most of any industry only behind those who are retired.

Individuals who work at law firms that are in her top 15 donors provide services to financial institutions and corporations that deal with bankruptcy, corporate restructuring, securities litigation, and white-collar crime.

Brown Rudnick LLP, an international law firm that focuses on high-stakes litigation with offices in New York, London, Boston, and Washington, D.C., has employees that have given nearly $70,000 to Warren’s campaigns, enough to put them in her top ten donors.

According to the group’s website, they take on clients ranging from start-up businesses to national, global, and Fortune 500 business leaders. The group practices antitrust, bankruptcy and corporate restructuring, white-collar defense and government investigations, and provides corporate and financial services.

Ropes & Gray, a global law firm that serves clients in business, technology, and government, provides an array of services including the defense of white-collar criminals to "mitigate the impact of government investigations and enforcement actions."

They also represent clients on matters dealing with the federal Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Law, Medicare, and Medicaid fraud and abuse and pricing issues, financial crimes, and public corruption and campaign finance enforcement issues.

Employees who work for Ropes & Gray have given $57,450 to Warren, placing them in her top ten donors.

Individuals at Mintz Levin, a Boston-based firm whose main areas of practice include bankruptcy and corporate securities, have poured $47,600 to her campaign committees while those at Goodwin Proctor, which deals with financial institutions, private equity, and white collar defense matters, have given $35,000.

William Jacobson, clinical professor of Law at Cornell Law School and publisher of Legal Insurrection, told the Washington Free Beacon that Warren’s top donors are not surprising.

"It is no surprise that Elizabeth Warren says one thing and does another when it comes to corporate interests," Jacobson said. "Warren claimed that when she made several hundred thousand dollars in her private law practice while still a Harvard Law professor, she did it to help consumers and women. In fact, as my research demonstrated, Warren represented large corporations such as Dow Chemical, a major utility company and Travelers Insurance, against the interest of consumers."

Prior to Warren winning her senate seat in 2012, she served as the Leo Gottlieb professor of law at Harvard Law School.

Warren was compensated $350,000 per year for the position and was endowed by the law firm Cleary Gottlieb, which helped "multinational banks that profited from the Bernie Madoff fraud avoid paying compensation to Madoff victims," National Review reported.

The firm hired the former general counsel of the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2011 after he resigned before being sued for $1.5 million in inherited profits from Madoff’s fraud, Bloomberg reported. The money was later turned over to the victims after a settlement was struck.

Warren’s senate office did not return a request for comment on the donations.

Published under: Elizabeth Warren