Lawyers scorn Trump’s campaign on individual donations, including from Jones Day

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A combined image shows US President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden during the first debate of the 2020 presidential campaign in Cleveland.

By Rick Linsk, Disha Raychaudhuri and Caroline Spiezio

(Reuters) – Attorneys for Jones Day, who has made millions as outside advisers to US President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, donated nearly $ 90,000 to the campaign committee of Trump’s Democratic rival Joe Biden. Contributions to the Trump campaign by Jones Day’s attorneys totaled just $ 50, records show.

A Reuters analysis of Federal Election Commission records shows a wide gulf between individual lawyer donations to candidates, with nearly $ 29 million going directly to Biden’s campaign and just under $ 1.75 million to that of Trump between January 1, 2019 and August 31, 2020. Attorneys at several other law firms representing Trump or his campaign also largely favored Biden.

Figures reflect individual donations, not law firm contributions, and are based on self-identification of donors by occupation and employer. Reuters analyzed data on more than 120,000 contributions reported by the main campaign committees of FEC candidates on Sept. 20, including donations made through Aug. 31. Data does not include donations to political action committees, donations from the PAC law firm. to federal candidates, or donations from spouses or dependents of attorneys.

Lawyers have donated more to Democratic presidential candidates than Republicans, the data shows. The profession leans to the left overall, according to a 2015 report by professors at Stanford University, the University of Chicago, and Harvard University, in part because much of Big Law is based in liberal-leaning cities like New York and Los Angeles.

The firms whose attorneys have donated the most to Biden’s campaign in the current election cycle, using rounded figures drawn from FEC data, are the plaintiff-side giant Morgan & Morgan; the external campaign advisory firm Covington & Burling; and Sidley Austin.

The firms whose attorneys have donated the most to Trump’s reelection campaign are Fish & Richardson, Kirkland & Ellis and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Attorneys for each of those firms donated significantly more to Biden’s campaign, about 10 times more at Gibson Dunn and about 20 times more at Kirkland, FEC data shows.

Representatives for the firms declined to comment or did not respond to requests for comment.

While Covington represents the Biden campaign and is a major source of individual donations for the Biden campaign, the same is not true of the Trump and Jones Day campaign, whose attorneys gave Biden more than Trump for a Wide margin.

Jones Day has earned more than $ 4.5 million since 2019 as an outside adviser to the Trump campaign, FEC records show. Dave Petrou, a spokesman for Jones Day, did not respond to request for comment. Two Jones Day attorneys who asked not to be named said they donated to Biden because they preferred his policies and did not feel pressure from their colleagues to donate to Trump.

“It shouldn’t be news that the wealthy liberal lawyers in Biden’s pocket are desperately trying to make up for his lackluster candidacy or that every major law firm has lawyers on both sides of the political aisle,” said Trump campaign spokeswoman Samantha Zager, in a statement. statement sent by email. Biden’s campaign spokesman Michael Gwin did not respond to a request for comment.

Attorneys for three other firms that have represented President Trump or his campaign: Porter Wright Morris & Arthur; Kasowitz, Benson and Torres; and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius – have also donated overwhelmingly to Biden.

Porter Wright received more than $ 250,000 from the Trump campaign in August, while representing it in ballot-by-mail lawsuits in battlefield Pennsylvania. His attorneys have donated $ 5,750 to Biden’s campaign and $ 0 to Trump’s, according to FEC data.

Robert Trafford, a Columbus, Ohio-based Porter Wright litigation partner who donated $ 1,000 to the Biden campaign last year, said his firm’s work for the Trump campaign does not “change the political contribution of the individual partners “.

“How you feel about it is really not important,” he said. “I think it is important that the company can take representations even when they are controversial.”

Representatives for Morgan Lewis, who has represented Trump on tax matters, and Kasowitz, Benson & Torres, home of former Trump personal attorney Marc Kasowitz, did not respond to requests for comment.