By Andrew Kerr, Investigative Reporter & Jerry Dunleavy, Justice Department Reporter
Marc Elias and Minyon Moore, two longtime allies of Bill and Hillary Clinton who recently took up key roles with the national Black Lives Matter group, relinquished top spots with the embattled organization, according to new records filed just days before the group reveals what it did with the $90 million it raised in 2020.
The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation revealed in February that the Elias Law Group, Elias’s namesake law firm, had taken control of its books and finances. But Elias Law Group is nowhere to be found in BLM’s latest registration filings submitted to Florida and Oklahoma on April 28, according to records obtained by the Washington Examiner.
BLM’S MILLIONS UNACCOUNTED FOR AFTER LEADERS QUIETLY JUMPED SHIP
While the new records show the Elias Law Group is no longer in control of BLM’s books, whatever continued involvement Elias’s firm may have with the embattled charity remains a mystery. The Elias Law Group declined to provide an on-the-record comment to the Washington Examiner.
The Elias Law Group’s absence from BLM’s Florida and Oklahoma registrations submitted on the eve of the charity’s financial disclosure is telling, said Tom Anderson, the director of the Government Integrity Project at the National Legal and Policy Center watchdog group.
“It is important to note the Elias Law Group is a firm with a laser focus on electing Democrats and pushing the progressive agenda,” Anderson told the Washington Examiner. “This makes their disappearance from the latest BLM Global Network Foundation filings a pivotal moment, probably foreshadowing the total collapse of what is left of the organization.”
BLM had disclosed in February that Elias’s law firm had taken control of its books and Moore had joined its board of directors. The filings were made public about two weeks after the BLM shut off its online fundraising streams amid legal threats from California and Washington over the charity’s lack of financial transparency.
BLM’s fundraising remains shuttered, and the charity is due to file its long-awaited federal form 990 financial disclosure to the IRS next week revealing what it did with its financial windfall from 2020.
BLM identified Patrick Curtis, an accountant with Rubino & Company, as its custody of records in its Florida registration. Moore is not listed as a member of the BLM board of directors in the filing.
BLM disclosed in its Oklahoma registration that three people serve on its board of directors: Shalomyah Bowers, Cicley Gay, and D’Zhane Parker. All three BLM board members share close ties with BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors, who resigned from the group in May 2021 amid scrutiny of her personal real estate purchases.
BLM did not return multiple requests for comment. Moore, Curtis, and BLM compliance specialist Alix Sandomir of Perlman & Perlman also did not return multiple requests for comment.
BLM CO-FOUNDER: CHARITY TRANSPARENCY LAWS ARE ‘TRIGGERING’
BLM had filed a charitable organization registration statement in February with the New Mexico attorney general’s office, stating that BLM’s “other address” is “c/o Elias Law Group” in Washington, D.C.
The group had also filed an annual registration renewal fee report with the California attorney general that month, saying one of its addresses was “c/o Elias Law Group.” The filing also said that BLM’s “books are in the care of … the organization” that is “located at … c/o Elias Law Group.”
The Washington Examiner visited the Elias Law Group’s physical address on Friday, with the firm seemingly located in a shared workspace. The receptionist called a member of Elias’s firm and named the Washington Examiner as being in the reception area, and the receptionist relayed that no one from the firm was in the office. She said the firm employees are only in-office sporadically.
Elias is best known for his funding of British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s discredited anti-Trump dossier while he served as Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign general counsel, and he is expected to be called by special counsel John Durham to testify at the false statements trial of his former Perkins Coie law firm colleague, Michael Sussmann, which begins next week.
Moore is listed as a top leader at the Dewey Square Group consulting firm and was in the inner circle of the 2016 Clinton campaign. She also served on President Joe Biden’s transition team.
The White House announced in February that Moore would be the “nomination adviser for engagement” for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s now-successful Supreme Court confirmation.
The White House did not respond to new questions about whether Moore’s time in the Biden administration was done and if she had remained completely separated from BLM during that time frame. The Washington Examiner was told in February that Moore wouldn’t do work for any outside groups while assisting the White House.
BLM’s Florida registration offers clues to what the group may disclose in its form 990 filing.
BLM PARTY HOUSE: PATRISSE CULLORS HOSTED PERSONAL EVENTS AT CHARITY’S $6M MANSION
The charity said it received $79,644,709 in the “immediately preceding fiscal year,” which appears to be in reference to the time frame covering July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021.
BLM also disclosed just one major program accomplishment in its Florida registration: “Creating space for black imagination and innovation and centering black joy.”
Scott Walter, the president of the conservative Capital Research Center, said BLM’s program accomplishment appeared to be a reference to a $6 million Los Angeles mansion it purchased with donor cash in October 2020.
“That phrase looks like just a fancy way to say, ‘We bought mansions for parties and forgettable YouTube videos,'” Walter told the Washington Examiner.
Bowers, one of BLM’s remaining board members, told the Associated Press on Sunday that the charity has undergone an independent financial audit that, when released alongside its form 990, will show “nothing impermissible or nefarious has happened” with the charity’s finances.
But BLM in its registration submitted on April 28 requested that Florida provide the charity a 180-day extension to file its financial statements.
“It’s even more disturbing to see continuing turmoil in their legal filings, such as the board shifting repeatedly, the hosting of their books shifting, and especially the request for yet another six months before giving charity authorities audited financials — all this strongly suggests that the group still has not cleaned up its act but remains a plaything for Patrisse Cullors and her close friends,” Walter said.
“Black lives matter, and so do black dollars. Neither is well served if so much money isn’t being used to make all black lives better, not just a few elite persons enjoying a mansion lifestyle,” Walter added. “Charitable authorities at the federal and state level have a responsibility to get to the bottom of this.”
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