ProPublica, an independent, non-partisan outlet that has recently published a series of articles about conservative Supreme Court justices and their luxury vacations, received over $40 million since 2010 from a group connected to liberal dark money network, Arabella Advisors. Leonard Leo, a longtime influence in the conservative legal arena, said that the series of stories “questioning the integrity of only conservative Supreme Court Justices is bait for reeling in more dark money from woke billionaires who want to damage this Supreme Court.”

This week, ProPublica wrote that in 2009, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito took a luxury fishing trip with hedge fund billionaire, Paul Singer, who would later have business matters before the high court. This is the latest report from the outlet on a conservative justice. In April, they found that Justice Clarence Thomas’ close friendship with real estate developer Harlan Crow allowed him to accompany the Texas billionaire on luxury vacations on his private jet and yacht, as well as free stays on Crow’s vast vacation property, among other perks – which they claimed Thomas should have reported.

Most recently, ProPublica claimed that, according to “ethics law experts,” Alito broke federal laws that require justice to disclose such trips, and that he should have recused himself from the cases before the court involving Singer. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool, File)


Alito, in an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal, said ProPublica “misleads” its readers in the piece, because he did not even know the cases referenced were connected to singer and ethics rules at the time did not include funded travel and lodging as reportable “gifts.”

Leo, co-chairman of The Federalist Society and was also named in the ProPublica piece as having attend and helped to plan the trip, defended Alito in a statement, saying “Justice Alito talked about this trip in front of dozens of journalists and over 2000 people after being introduced by Paul Singer at a Federalist Society dinner fourteen years ago. Nobody questioned Justice Alito’s impartiality then, or thereafter.” Leonard Leo speaks at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., on April 23, 2019. (Photo by Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty Images)


“Perhaps that’s because, Justice Alito would not know of Singer’s interests because Singer’s name does not appear in the Supreme Court filings. Perhaps it’s also because, in the two cases where Paul Singer had a public profile —the Obergefell gay marriage case and an action against the Republic of Argentina—Justice Alito sided against Mr. Singer in the former, and he sided with Mr. Singer in the latter along with a near-unanimous majority across the Court’s ideological spectrum that affirmed a lower court decision,” he said. Leo continued to say that, “the only thing that has changed over all these years is that ProPublica and its large pool of liberal dark money donors are having a hard time accepting the fact that they are now losing cases because there aren’t enough Justices around anymore to disregard the law and affirm their policy preferences.”

The Sandler Foundation launched ProPublica in 2007 and is reportedly ProPublica’s “largest donor,” giving nearly $40 million since 2010. The Sandler Foundation has also given millions of dollars to the New Venture Fund, providing $3.9 million to the Arabella-managed fund since 2019. The Supreme Court is seen at sundown in Washington, D.C., Nov. 6, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)


The New Venture Fund is part of a network of progressive nonprofits managed by Arabella Advisors.

In the grants to New Venture Fund, Sandler Foundation earmarked $500,000 for Demand Justice, an organization that claims to be “building a progressive movement to restore ideological balance and legitimacy to our nation’s courts,” and supports left-wing causes like court packing.

Leo pointed out that Justices Ruth Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor also have “regularly received a level of hospitality from friends and strangers that most Americans never experience, but, like their conservative colleagues, they don’t disregard the law because of outside influence.”

“They’re smart and equally strong-willed and independent—just wrong about their proper role and what the Constitution means,” he said.


“We all should wonder whether this recent rash of ProPublica stories questioning the integrity of only conservative Supreme Court Justices is bait for reeling in more dark money from woke billionaires who want to damage this Supreme Court and remake it into one that will disregard the law by rubber-stamping their disordered and highly unpopular cultural preferences,” Leo said.

ProPublica defended its reporting in a statement to Fox News Digital, saying it receives “philanthropic support from donors of every stripe.”

“More than 40,000 people actively fund our investigative, nonpartisan journalism. Our newsroom operates with fierce independence. No donor or board member is even aware of the subjects of our stories before they are published,” a ProPublica spokesperson said.

“ProPublica’s reporting has spotlighted wrongdoing across the private and political arenas for more than 15 years, including unbiased reporting on Republican and Democratic officials harming the environment, gerrymandering, manipulating the tax code and engaging in a long list of corrupt behavior across the country. ProPublica exposes abuses of power no matter which party is in charge,” the spokespersons said. Brianna Herlihy is a politics writer for Fox News Digital.

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