One of the top lawyers currently defending President Trump against impeachment reportedly voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016.
The surprising detail emerged in a New York Times write-up on Jay Sekulow, Trump’s personal attorney. Despite his support of Clinton, Sekulow has a history of fighting in court for evangelical Christians, the Times notes.
Report: Trump attorney voted for Clinton
Sekulow’s support for Clinton is mentioned in passing in the article, which cites “people close to him.” The subject of the piece is Sekulow’s career as a defender of religious liberty and, now, an unlikely defender of the president.
The Times notes that Sekulow, who works from outside the White House, is leading a team of eight lawyers to help President Trump counter the impeachment effort. The paper contrasts him with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Trump loyalist known for erratic media appearances that critics say have undermined Trump’s defense.
Giuliani has been under the microscope lately after two of his Ukrainian associates were indicted on campaign finance charges. The paper notes that Sekulow, unlike Giuliani, has kept a relatively low profile, and Trump also pays Sekulow for his legal services, whereas Giuliani works for free.
Born Jewish, Sekulow converted to Christianity and joined the evangelical group Jews for Jesus. He went on to become a religious liberty advocate and won a string of Supreme Court victories defending Christians and Messianic Jews, starting with a 1987 case defending Jews for Jesus’ right to hand out literature in an airport.
Sekulow founded an advocacy group, Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (CASE), and would later go on to become a lawyer in televangelist circles. He later joined Pat Robertson at the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ), a conservative group founded to counter the American Civil Liberties Union.
Notably, Sekulow has also defended pro-life activists, including one who went undercover to investigate Planned Parenthood.
His evangelical activities have been scrutinized by the media, including left-leaning British outlet The Guardian which published a 2017 article asserting that Sekulow treated CASE and the ACLJ as a slush fund for his family.
The paper claimed that Sekulow steered $60 million from the groups, which are funded by donations, to fund a lavish lifestyle that included private jet travel and several homes.
The Times notes that Sekulow has little experience fighting the kind of legal battles Trump now faces, but he has managed to stay in the White House as other lawyers fell victim to the rapid personnel turnover that has come to characterize the Trump administration. At any rate, many critics say that Democrats played themselves badly by rushing to impeach the president without bipartisan backing, and the effort appears to be fizzling out.
While Sekulow is defending Trump now, his past support of Clinton is ironic, to say the least.