For more than a decade, reporters have been tracking how prominent Religious Right attorney Jay Sekulow has used a pair of nonprofits—Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (CASE) and the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ)—to steer millions of dollars to members of his family and businesses they run and finance a “lavish lifestyle.”
Now that Sekulow is working as an attorney for President Trump, Jon Swaine at The Guardian has done some more digging and found that CASE has “steered more than $60m to Sekulow, his family and their businesses” since 2000, even while fundraising off the poor and unemployed using scare tactics about “abortion, Sharia law and Barack Obama.”
Documents obtained by the Guardian show Sekulow that month approved plans to push poor and jobless people to donate money to his Christian nonprofit, which since 2000 has steered more than $60m to Sekulow, his family and their businesses.
Telemarketers for the nonprofit, Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (Case), were instructed in contracts signed by Sekulow to urge people who pleaded poverty or said they were out of work to dig deep for a “sacrificial gift”.
“I can certainly understand how that would make it difficult for you to share a gift like that right now,” they told retirees who said they were on fixed incomes and had “no extra money” – before asking if they could spare “even $20 within the next three weeks”.
Case raises tens of millions of dollars a year, much of it in small amounts from Christians who receive direct appeals for money over the telephone or in the mail. The telemarketing contracts obtained by the Guardian show how fundraisers were instructed by Sekulow to deliver bleak warnings about topics including abortion, Sharia law and Barack Obama.
“It’s time to let the president know that his vision of America is obscured and represents a dangerous threat to the Judea-Christian [sic] values that have been the cornerstone of our republic,” one script from 2015 said.
A 2013 script warned listeners that Obama’s signature healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act, promised to give Planned Parenthood federal funding to open abortion referral clinics “in your child’s or grandchild’s middle school or high school”.