The law firm representing the so-called whistleblower at the center of the impeachment movement targeting President Donald Trump as well as multiple other anti-Trump whistleblowers was so desperate to find Trump administration informants that they previously offered those who come forward discounted pricing for legal representation.
A search of the Twitter account for the law firm’s founder and managing partner, Andrew Bakaj, finds rabid anti-Trump posts such as repeated advocacy for Trump cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment of the Constitution over claimed competency issues. The amendment offers a path for the commander-in-chief’s removal if the “president is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
Bakaj founded the Compass Rose Legal Group, which is representing the central so-called whistleblower on the matter of Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian president. Bakaj previously interned for Hillary Clinton and did work for other Democrats.
On Sunday, Bakaj confirmed that his law firm is representing “multiple whistleblowers in connection to the underlying August 12, 2019, disclosure to the Intelligence Community Inspector General.”
“No further comment at this time,” he added.
Mark Zaid, senior counsel with the Compass Rose Legal Group, said on Sunday that his firm is representing a second so-called whistleblower in the Ukraine case.
On Feb 15, 2017, toward the start of Trump’s presidency, Bakaj and the firm each tweeted about the discounted pricing for potential Trump administration informants:
Members of the IC, @DeptofDefense & @WhiteHouse staff, see stmt re protected v unauthorized disclosures & rate drop. https://t.co/Nyhzoz6pWA
— Compass Rose Legal (@CompassRosePLLC) February 15, 2017
Given seriousness of the situation,CLG will drop rates for IC + @WhiteHouse staff cntmplating disclosures. Lawyer-up https://t.co/UDSdZ6VqCO
— Compass Rose Legal (@CompassRosePLLC) February 15, 2017
That same year, Zaid, Bakaj’s partner at the firm, co-founded Whistleblower Aid, a small nonprofit that blasted advertisements around D.C. actively seeking whistleblowers during the Trump administration.
On Twitter, Bakaj appealed for potential Trump-era whistleblowers to come forward:
If you’re having #securityclearance issues, a #whistleblower, or under investigation, now is not the time to go it alone. Seek counsel!
— Andrew P. Bakaj (@AndrewBakaj) January 23, 2017
“Your loyalty is to the Constitution, not to an individual,” Bakaj and the law firm told U.S. government clients.
CRLG Managing Attny Reminds our clients: Your loyalty is to the Constitution, not to an individual. That is your obligation, per your oath. https://t.co/6PpPhE3YUV
— Compass Rose Legal (@CompassRosePLLC) May 12, 2017
Prior to Trump’s inauguration, Bakaj tweeted that “the security of the nation rests with career federal employees (DoD, CIA, etc.) doing the right thing.”
The security of the nation rests with career federal employees (DoD, CIA, etc.) doing the right thing.
— Andrew P. Bakaj (@AndrewBakaj) December 30, 2016
Bakaj repeatedly promoted the idea of invoking the 25th amendment to remove Trump from office:
— Andrew P. Bakaj (@AndrewBakaj) August 11, 2017
He is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. That’s the standard. 25th Amendment. It says nothing about mental health. https://t.co/BlJRV0Lm1u
— Andrew P. Bakaj (@AndrewBakaj) August 16, 2017
If it’s about restricting access b/c of trust issues, by def. @realDonaldTrump isn’t able to discharge the powers and duties of his office. https://t.co/9WDJ7ajPLr
— Andrew P. Bakaj (@AndrewBakaj) August 25, 2017
Sec 3 of 25th Amendment says nothing about mental health. It’s about @POTUS inability to discharge duties. We are there.
— Andrew P. Bakaj (@AndrewBakaj) August 16, 2017
At one point, Bakaj called on then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and then-Defense Secretary James Mattis to take cabinet action and invoke the 25th amendment:
Tillerson and Mattis could pull together a majority of the cabinet and invoke the 25th. https://t.co/8x4MB2zI3t
— Andrew P. Bakaj (@AndrewBakaj) October 10, 2017
The activist lawyer referred to the Commander-In-Chief as “President Drumpf.”
Driving back to Washington and getting iced #Covfefe near President Drumpf.
— Andrew P. Bakaj (@AndrewBakaj) August 15, 2017
In 2001, Bakaj interned for both Clinton and Senator Chuck Schumer.
Zaid tweeted his firm would represent whistleblowers who believe Trump is a danger:
We’re available to help any one who wants to go that route. @BradMossEsq @AndrewBakaj #1stAmendment works very well when lawyers who know how to weaponize it do so legally to protect #whistleblowers https://t.co/lkXLWwJ8pa
— Mark S. Zaid (@MarkSZaidEsq) March 21, 2018
Meanwhile, missing from the avalanche of news media coverage about the so-called whistleblower clients of Bakaj and Zaid is that at the beginning of Trump’s presidency Zaid co-founded Whistleblower Aid. The group is heavily tied to far-left activist organizations and Democratic politics.
In his twitter profile, Zaid describes himself as a “non-partisan” attorney “handling cases involving national security, security clearances, govt investigations, media, Freedom of Information Act, & whistleblowing.”
Missing from Zaid’s twitter profile is that he co-founded Whistleblower Aid. That detail is also not mentioned in Zaid’s bio on his attorney website.
This even though Whistleblower Aid has been actively helping the first whistleblower also being represented by Zaid by setting up a GoFundMe page seeking to raise funds for the purported whistleblower’s defense. The page already brought in some $210,066 with a goal of raising $300,000.
Whistleblower Aid was founded in September 2017 in the wake of Trump’s presidency to encourage government whistleblowers to come forward.
The group did not sit around waiting for whistleblowers. Upon its founding, Whistleblower Aid actively sought to attract the attention of Trump administration government employees by reportedly blasting advertisements for its whistleblower services on Metro trains, using mobile billboards that circled government offices for 10 hours a day, and handing out whistles on street corners as a gimmick to gain attention.
When Whistleblower Aid was first formed, the main banner for the mission statement of its website contained clearly anti-Trump language.
“Today our Republic is under threat. Whistleblower Aid is committed to protecting the rule of law in the United States and around the world,” read the previous statement which can still be viewed via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
That part of the mission statement received attention in the conservative media.
The sentence “today our Republic is under threat,” has since been scrubbed from the website. The mission statement now only reads, “Whistleblower Aid is committed to protecting the rule of law in the United States and around the world.”
Speaking to the Washington Post just after Whistleblower Aid’s founding, John Tye, who co-founded the organization with Zaid, claimed, “This is not a partisan effort,” and then went on to express seemingly partisan alarm about Trump.
Tye continued, “At the same time, yes, the rule of law starts with the office of the president. Like many other people, we are definitely concerned about things that are happening in the administration. The decision to fire [FBI Director] James Comey. The lack of transparency. A lot of people have questions about whether this administration respects the rule of law.”
Far-left ties, Democrat links
Zaid doubles as Executive Director and founder of the James Madison Project, which says it seeks to promote government accountability. The Project features on its four-person advisory board John Podesta, who led Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, served as Chief of Staff to Bill Clinton and founded the Soros-funded Center for American Progress pushing a progressive agenda.
Whistleblower Aid co-founder Tye himself is a whistleblower. He is a former State Department official who went public in 2014 about U.S. government electronic surveillance practices.
Tye’s bio on Whistleblower Aid’s website brandishes his work for far-left groups.
The bio reads:
Mr. Tye has worked at the Southern Poverty Law Center, Avaaz, and also Southeast Louisiana Legal Services as a Skadden Fellow. He was on the board of directors of the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana.
The Southern Poverty Law Center is known for its anti-conservative stance and controversially publishes a “hate map” listing groups that warn about radical Islam such as Jihad Watch, the Clarion Project, the Center for Security Policy. On that same “hate map” are racist extremist organizations like Global Crusaders: Order of the Ku Klux Klan and United Klans of America.
Tye’s other former employer, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), is financed heavily by billionaire activist and Democratic Party mega-donor George Soros and is known for its hyper-partisan liberal activism.
Avaaz, a radical group where Tye served as campaign and legal director, describes itself as a “global web movement to bring people-powered politics to decision-making everywhere.” The group has repeatedly engaged in anti-Israel activism.
Channeling the mantra of radical community organizer Saul Alinsky, Avaaz says it aims to “organize citizens of all nations to close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want.”
Avaaz was founded in 1997 by the Soros-funded, partisan MoveOn.org organization and by the Soros-funded Res Publica activist group.
Tax forms from Soros’s Open Society document donations to Res Publica specifically earmarked for support to Avaaz. Res Publica oversees Avaaz activism.
The same year that Whistleblower Aid was founded, Avaaz’s former general counsel and campaign director, Ian Bassin, in 2017 formed United to Protect Democracy. The latter is a grouping of former top lawyers for the Obama administration working to utilize legal advocacy methods to oppose Trump’s policies.
Bassin’s United to Protect Democracy works in partnership with the Brennan Center for Justice, located at NYU School of Law. The Brennan Center is heavily financed by Soros’s Open Society Foundations and is the recipient of numerous Open Society grants.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.
Joshua Klein contributed research to this article.