By Pam Martens: May 29, 2013
As we reported yesterday, Jay Sekulow has spent the last two weeks burning shoe leather racing from one network studio to the next to pump up an IRS “scandal.” Now Sekulow has a lot of explaining to do as to why rampant conflicts of interests in his dizzying web of nonprofit groups were never reined in – even after being exposed in 2011 in the pages of USA Today.
New documents have surfaced in Sekulow’s operations, raising questions about his business dealings with former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and television evangelist Pat Robertson.
One month after stepping down as U.S. Attorney General in 2005, John Ashcroft accepted a part-time teaching position at Regent University, a Christian institution founded by Robertson, who is currently Chancellor and Executive Chairman at the University. Ashcroft has remained at Regent University, currently serving as Distinguished Professor of Law and Government. Sekulow is on the Board of Regent as well as a member of the Regent Law faculty.
In 2005, the same year that Ashcroft stepped down from the Department of Justice and accepted a faculty position at Regent, a nonprofit was formed by Sekulow called the Law and Justice Institute. Under its program description the following year, it stated: “Contract to provide the services of distinguished individuals to participate in educational activities related to the organizations exempt purposes: Regent University School of Law – Distinguished Professor of Law and Government.” That title is the one carried by John Ashcroft.
From 2006 through the most recently available tax return for 2011, the Law and Justice Institute has paid a total of $2,381,667 to a business called Educational Resources Associates, LLC listed at a residential address in Washington, D.C. Public records show the property was formerly owned by a John and Janet Ashcroft, the name of the former U.S. Attorney General and his wife. Despite the Ashcrofts selling the home in 2005, the tax returns for the Law and Justice Institute through 2011 still carry the same address for Educational Resources Associates, LLC.
I called the current owner of the residence and was assured that no business is being run out of that address. So why aren’t the checks being returned by the post office? Are they being hand delivered to the principal owner of Educational Resources Associates, LLC?
A phone call to the accountant for the Institute and multiple emails yielded no further information. (I will update this article if and when that information is forthcoming.)
In the last two years, Educational Resources Associates has taken a big pay cut from $450,000 annually to under $300,000; but an additional business has been added as a recipient of funds from the Law and Justice Institute – Advocacy Services, Inc. with an address of 977 Centerville Turnpike, Virginia Beach, Virginia. That’s the address for Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network. Tax returns for 2010 and 2011 show a total of $1 million being paid to the business. Jay Sekulow continues to be listed on the tax returns as the “principal officer” of the Law and Justice Institute.
The Law and Justice Institute is a nonprofit organization receiving a taxpayer subsidy. John Ashcroft was the former highest ranking law enforcement agent in the U.S. The public has a right to transparency with this organization, its reason for existing and the gritty details of its money flows.
As for the IRS and the Tea Party, a pivotal question that corporate media has failed to ask, is why, if all these Tea Party-type groups are genuinely independent, spontaneous grassroots uprisings, did 27 of them all end up being handled by one man – Jay Sekulow.