Consejo de Latinos Unidos (CDLU), a national public charity and advocacy group, is calling for an immediate lobbying ban of Balch & Bingham, a law firm deeply tied to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Trump Administration, that engaged in a cover-up of the firm’s lobbying efforts to change Russia sanctions, as well as other alleged unscrupulous business practices.
Balch has provided key officials to the administration – including Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Wood, a former partner at Balch & Bingham – and it was the second largest donor to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Senate campaigns, contributing over $140,000, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Balch & Bingham had boasted on its website that its top Washington lobbyist worked to “change specific provisions to sanctions imposed by the U.S. Government against certain Russian companies,” but the firm recently deleted all references to its Russia connection from its website, saying instead that it “worked to allow U.S. Department of Defense contractors to support Allied air force.”
“What on earth is Balch covering-up? Balch scrubbed their website, throwing the truth into an Orwellian memory hole. Their top lobbyist even altered his resume,” said K.B. Forbes, Executive Director of the CDLU, “Fortunately, we have the original documents and screen shots.”
The CDLU has been investigating Balch & Bingham since last year for allegedly being involved in a case against a small-town lawyer in Alabama named Burt Newsome, who appears to have been wrongly targeted, arrested, and defamed. The Balch partner who appears to have been attempting to solicit Newsome’s clients, an alleged violation of professional conduct, was apparently abruptly fired the day after the website scrub.
“Our objective is to get Balch to conduct a top-to-bottom review of their firm and end the mentality, as they wrote in a court filing, of ‘ruining a rival’ and to start focusing on their clients, not their competition,” Forbes added.
In early February, the CDLU dispatched a letter to Kellyanne Conway asking The White House “to ban Balch & Bingham…from soliciting the Administration immediately.” Since 2001, CDLU’s work has been profiled in numerous media outlets, including People Magazine, The Washington Post, and CBS’ 60 Minutes.
In an explosive investigative article posted in May 11, 2017, al.com (Alabama Media Group) reported how Balch & Bingham dumped $134,000 into a foundation run by an alleged corrupt politician, Oliver Robinson, currently under federal investigation, who in turn disenfranchised African-Americans from testing their toxic and contaminated property under EPA rules in 2015 and 2016.
The following day, May 12, 2017, Robinson confirmed that Balch had allegedly hired him to work the neighborhoods.