$1 million mystery gift to inauguration traced to conservative legal activists

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One of the largest contributions to President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee in 2016 appears to have been orchestrated by a set of powerful conservative legal activists who have since been put in the driver’s seat of the administration’s push to select and nominate federal judges. 

The $1 million inaugural gift came from a Northern Virginia company called BH Group, LLC. Unlike other generous corporate inaugural donors -- like Bank of America and Dow Chemical -- though, BH Group was a cipher, and likely was set up solely to prevent disclosure of the actual donor's name. Almost nothing is known about the company, including who runs it or its reason for being beyond writing a seven-figure check on Dec. 22, 2016, almost a month before President Trump was sworn in. While the source of the money used to make the gift was masked from the public, a trail of clues puts the contribution at the doorstep of some of the same actors — most notably Leonard Leo, an executive vice president at the conservative Federalist Society — who have helped promote Trump’s mission, and that of his White House counsel, Don McGahn, to fill judicial vacancies as quickly as he can with staunchly conservative, preferably young jurists.


$1 million mystery gift to inauguration traced to conservative legal activists