Warren’s legal work for Dow Chemical, first exposed by Legal Insurrection during the 2012 Senate campaign, was not to help the women, as Warren claims: “Warren’s expertise was used by a company fighting in court to limit its liability and payments to the women.”
Timing is everything in politics, and Elizabeth Warren received a huge break when a devastating Washington Post investigation of Warren’s legal practice when she was a law professor was published on Monday, July 15, 2019. That was the day after Trump’s tweets telling four congresswomen “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how….”
The investigation confirmed and expanded on Legal Insurrection’s reporting from 2012 that in her private legal practice Warren worked against breast implant victims, not for them as she claimed. It was part of a pattern of Warren representing major corporations against the people Warren claims to care about, before she launched her political career.
Those Trump tweets sparked a week-long (and still ongoing) media feeding frenzy in which the WaPo report about Warren received little attention. The WaPo report should have been massive news, particularly with the second Democrat debate coming up this week. It should have been the subject of other news coverage about Warren’s private legal practice, and other Democrat presidential candidates should have been talking about how it works against Warren much as Joe Biden’s past is used against him.
But it passed with barely a mention in other news outlets and competing campaigns, as the prolonged news cycle was consumed by focus on Trump’s fight with “The Squad.”
The WaPo investigation was by Annie Linskey, who used to work at the Boston Globe and has covered the Warren campaign for years. By all appearances, Linskey was on good terms with team Warren, and the campaign clearly shared information it deemed helpful with Linskey in the past.
Linskey conducted the Globe investigation, including documents provided by Warren, that Warren repeatedly cites claiming that Warren did not “get ahead” by claiming to be Native American. (I disagree with that conclusion, for the reasons I discussed below.)
The point of all this is that Linskey is someone with whom the Warren campaign has been willing to share information, and who the campaign has cited with favor.
Linskey cannot in any way be construed as hostile to Warren, so the findings of the latest investigation cannot be attacked by Warren and her supporters as a smear by a “right-wing extremist.”
In 2012, Legal Insurrection Reported On Warren’s Legal Practice Representing Large Corporations, Including Dow Chemical
Linskey investigated Warren’s private legal practice while Warren was a Harvard Law School professor. That’s a topic I wrote about extensively during Warren’s 2012 Senate campaign, including Warren’s work for Dow Chemical Company with regard to breast implant litigation at its subsidiary, Dow Corning.
See this summary page at ElizabethWarrenWiki.org, Legal Representation of Major Corporations, and these posts here from October and early November 2012:
- Elizabeth Warren issues incomplete list of cases
- Elizabeth Warren represented large utility seeking to liquidate rural electric cooperative
- Elizabeth Warren’s implausible Dow Chemical claim
- Elizabeth Warren held asbestos workers hostage to inter-corporate fight
- Documenting another Elizabeth Warren fib — Fairchild Aircraft case
Linskey started investigating Warren’s legal practice at least several months ago, maybe earlier, and her investigation sparked the Warren campaign to preemptively release a list of 50 matters (some cases, some expert or consultant appearances). I wrote about this case list release, and suggested that Elizabeth Warren tries to get ahead of her law practice problems with pre-holiday weekend info dump:
Elizabeth Warren posted on her campaign website a list of 56 cases on which she worked while employed as a law professor. In some of the cases she acted as legal counsel in a litigation, in others she gave legal advice outside of a court litigation, and in others she was retained as an expert.
Soon after that information dump, the Washington Post ran a story about it, indicating WaPo had been looking into Warren’s legal caseload, While teaching, Elizabeth Warren worked on more than 50 legal matters, charging as much as $675 an hour:
Sen. Elizabeth Warren worked on more than 50 legal matters during her career as a professor at Ivy League law schools, charging as much as $675 an hour to advise a variety of clients, including people with asbestos disease and a corporation facing possible liability over ruptured breast implants.
Warren’s presidential campaign released a list of 56 cases on her website Wednesday night, revealing a far higher number of cases than Warren (D-Mass.) had previously disclosed and lending detail to an aspect of her career that she rarely discusses in public. The Washington Post had requested a detailed accounting of her outside work and was conducting a review of her work from public records.
When she first ran for the Senate in 2012, Warren came under pressure from her Republican opponent and the news media to discuss her legal work. At the time, she released a list of 13 cases without saying whether it represented a full accounting; at least one other case came to light during the race.
This WaPo coverage has worked to Warren’s great advantage, with her backers on social media — including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Hillary communications person Charlotte Clymer – portraying this as an issue either of a lawyer getting paid for her expertise, so no big deal, or the hourly rate being questioned only because Warren’s a woman. The $675 is the perfect distraction for Warren from more serious issues.