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Just hours after Jeff Sessions resigned as attorney general last Wednesday at the president’s behest, #TheResistance found its newest target for destruction: Sessions’ interim replacement, Matthew Whitaker.
Negative coverage about the acting attorney general has dominated national publications and cable news outlets. Reporters have portrayed Whitaker as a Trump lackey, a crackpot, and an “attack dog”; Democratic leaders are demanding that he recuse himself from overseeing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation; on Tuesday, incoming House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) warned that if Whitaker fails to step aside from the probe, “his actions will be exposed.” (Of course, this is pure propaganda. As Andrew McCarthy explains, Whitaker is well-qualified and meets the legal requirements for an interim presidential cabinet appointment.)
NeverTrump “conservatives” are aiding Schiff and the media in their campaign to paralyze if not remove Whitaker. Commercials attacking the acting attorney general were aired on several Sunday morning political shows. The ads were sponsored by “Republicans for the Rule of Law,” a group founded earlier this year by Bill Kristol, the editor-at-large of The Weekly Standard. The group’s primary role so far appears to be pimping for the Mueller probe, a political witch-hunt that Kristol and his fellow NeverTrumpers pray will lead to the impeachment and removal of the president. The Left and their NeverTrump footsoldiers fear Whitaker will thwart the special counsel’s investigation instead of rubber stamping Mueller’s ever-expanding investigation as Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has done over the past 18 months.
Buying primo air time on network television doesn’t come cheap. So who is funding “Republicans for the Rule of Law” and their attacks on the Republican president and his acting attorney general? Is it big Republican donors?
We haven’t found any, but we have learned learned that one of Kristol’s benefactors is progressive billionaire Pierre Omidyar, the co-founder of eBay.
In addition to funding dissident ex-conservatives, Omidyar, 51, and his wife—who have pledged to give their more than $10 billion fortune to charity—operate an extensive network of nonprofits and foundations around the world. Omidyar has directed millions of dollars to a variety of progressive causes and political candidates: he and wife “have have given more than $500,000 to federal candidates and groups—nearly all of them Democrats—since 1999,” including six-figure donations to the Democratic senate and congressional campaign committees.
The Omidyars have also been among the most prolific supporters of left-wing causes for years. According to a 2014 report by the Media Research Center, “Michael Bloomberg, Warren Buffett, Pierre Omidyar, Tom Steyer and George Soros’s son, Jonathan are major funders of the left. Together, they have contributed at least $2.7 billion since 2000 to groups pushing abortion, gun control, climate change alarmism and liberal candidates.” And lately, Omidyar seems to have become a big fan of Kristol’s, probably because of their mutual hatred of Donald Trump. Digging a little deeper it looks like they may have more in common since Kristol has recently found his “inner socialist” and he now opposes Republican candidates.
One of Omidyar’s nonprofits is the Democracy Fund. In 2015, the Democracy Fund awarded nearly $9 million in grants, “many of which went to left-wing organizations.” One Democracy Fund recipient is currently in court fighting the results of the Georgia gubernatorial race, which was won by Republican Brian Kemp.
An affiliate of that fund disclosed on its website that it has given as least $600,000 to Kristol’s umbrella group, Defending Democracy Together, since May. (Other NeverTrumpers involved in the group are author Mona Charen, strategist Linda Chavez, and former governor Christine Todd Whitman.) Republicans for the Rule of Law operates under the purview of Defending Democracy Together.
So why is a group of so-called principled “conservatives” accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from a leftist billionaire who has shown zero dedication to conservative causes, an activist who finances interests that are inimical to conservative values and policies, and who bankrolls Democratic candidates hostile to mainstream conservatives?
Because the same phonies who claims to be all about principles and integrity are now the folks willing to do almost anything to take down Trump. (Remember that the next time they lecture pro-Trump Republicans about being a cult.)
Omidyar is a virulent Trump foe; he donated $250,000 to the NeverTrump PAC in 2016. Calling Trump a “dangerous authoritarian demagogue” during the presidential primaries, the Iranian-born entrepreneur proclaimed that “endorsing Donald Trump immediately disqualifies you from any position of public trust.” His Twitter timeline—much like Kristol’s—is an ongoing diatribe against the president and his allies. He recently has claimed the president is suffering from a “failing mental capacity” and called him “corrupt and incapacitated.”
Omidyar also is tied to another billionaire archenemy of the president: George Soros. Omidyar has donated millions to Soros’s pet projects, including the Open Society Foundations, a main funder of Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and the Center for American Progress.
Among the goals of the Open Society Foundations are “creating a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, cutting the number of prison inmates by 50%, enacting comprehensive immigration reform, increasing welfare handouts, and raising taxes to redistribute wealth.” (The Standard has other ties to Soros-linked projects and seems to be running a lot of cover for the global financier of late. More on that in an upcoming piece.)
It’s one thing for a political pundit like Kristol to brand himself as a Trump-hating “conservative” to earn hits on cable news shows and get fawning coverage in elite media publications. It’s quite another to partner up with the sworn enemies of the very principles one has claimed not only to champion, but of which he has insisted he is the last, best defender.
His new friend is a foe of these causes and has been for decades, which makes it appear as though Kristol is ready to sell out to any deep pocket just to damage the president while hiding the fact that his crusade is financed, at least in part, by a major anti-Trump, anti-conservative left-wing billionaire. (There is no information posted on Republicans for the Rule of Law’s website, or Kristol’s umbrella group, that discloses their funding sources.) The irony is rich indeed that “Republicans for the Rule of Law” is financed by a Democrat.
At what point do others stand up and not just deny Kristol his “conservative” cred, but acknowledge that he is now on the other side? When you join the battlefield alongside partisan hacks like Adam Schiff and take payoffs from leftist billionaires to do their political dirty work, there is nothing Republican or conservative, or frankly, decent, about you.
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Photo Credit: Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Politicon