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Advocate for Trump and Biden by a Fox News and Boeing Attorney

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Law News – Possibly trying to keep Donald Trump and Joe Biden from winning the 2024 election is a well-known Winston & Strawn trial attorney who has represented Fox News and Boeing Co.

Even as the group receives criticism from the left that it might tip a close election to Trump, Dan Webb, the co-executive chairman of the 900-lawyer firm, is supporting the centrist political organization No Labels in an unprecedented attempt to possibly run a third-party “unity” ticket featuring a Republican and Democrat.

The 78-year-old Webb stated in an interview that Americans “are entitled to another choice.” “I don’t support the theory that they can’t do that because we’ll get votes from one side,” the speaker said.

The longtime Republican is stepping up to the plate at a time when Big Law firms are growing more and more uncomfortable with being associated with the wrong side of contentious political issues. Bruce MacEwen, a legal company consultant at Adam Smith Esq., stated, “It is much more of a minefield than it was 10 or 20 years ago.”

Numerous large companies have distanced themselves from Trump’s ties. After leading elections attorney Marc Elias left, Perkins Coie, which was previously a prominent firm for the Democratic Party, reduced the amount of political legal work it did. Paul Clement, a conservative attorney, resigned Kirkland & Ellis in 2022 after the company allegedly requested him to withdraw a client that was involved in weapons under client pressure.

Corporate legal companies’ work has grown “more iffy,” according to Mark Braden, an attorney at BakerHostetler and a former top counsel for the Republican National Committee. “People are afraid that standing up for certain political figures will annoy their clients because there is so much polarized anger out there,” he added.

On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” however, Webb refuted claims that No Labels will play Biden spoiler on January 19. He made the announcement that No Labels had filed a complaint with the Justice Department the day before at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., in response to claims made by left-leaning and anti-Trump activist organizations that they are attempting to unlawfully obstruct the organization’s attempts to be on the ballot in every state.

In his opening remarks at the Press Club, Webb—who was serving as a volunteer counsel—stated, “This is a big day for No Labels.” “We decided it was time to fight back after we’d been taking it for a long time.”

“Where His Preference Is”

Webb’s professional life has frequently touched with politics. He was appointed US attorney for the Northern District of Illinois by President Ronald Reagan, and during the 1980s, he brought high-profile prosecutions exposing judicial and political corruption in Chicago.

He got to know former Illinois Governor Jim Thompson, a Republican, and occasionally spoke in Thompson’s place while he was in office from 1977 to 1991.

Even at one point, when special counsel Robert Mueller was looking into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, Trump asked Webb to represent him. However, Webb declined, citing conflicting economic interests.

More recently, Dominion Voting Systems filed a defamation lawsuit against Fox News for making inaccurate statements about the 2020 election. Fox News recruited Webb and his legal team to spearhead the network’s defense. Fox finally agreed to pay out a staggering $787 million in April of last year.

Webb like to be in places with plenty of activity and bright lighting, according to Charles Kocoras, a senior judge in the Northern District of Illinois and former colleague of Webb’s.

Webb describes himself as a moderate Republican, labeling the present GOP as an extinct species. In the 2016 presidential election, Webb pushed Republicans in the business sector to support Hillary Clinton and deemed Trump unsuitable to hold office.

Months before the election, Webb told the Chicago Sun Times that Republicans needed to “get off our butts and financially support her and get out of the closet because there are enough of us to swing this election.”

Prolific political donor Webb has continued to support Republican politicians financially; in October, he contributed $3,435 to former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s unsuccessful campaign for the GOP nomination.

Position Without Labels

As a volunteer with No Labels, Webb no longer worries about playing a part for a political group. He continued by saying that no one’s political involvement has ever caused an issue and that Winston & Strawn, a Chicago-based legal firm, has no political stance.

Conversely, he added, just as he did in 2016, private sector workers ought to get off their butts.

“I hope the unity ticket does well,” said Webb. “That’s why I’m participating.”

The seasoned attorney claimed that following the 2016 election, he became aware of No Labels and subsequently had meetings with members of the organization in Chicago. Over the years, he remained in intermittent communication with them, even going so far as to defend the organization in a dispute over a contract with a third-party vendor.

About eight months ago, he made the decision to become more active with the organization as a volunteer due to surveys indicating how unpopular Biden and Trump were.In reference to the group’s objective of being recognized as a political party on the presidential ballot in each of the 50 states, he claimed to have taken part in “strategic discussions” and to have agreed to screen candidates for a potential nominating convention.

Nevertheless, Webb stated that he is putting in “very few hours” a week on the project and that he sees it as a natural extension of his longtime interest in politics. He isn’t charging the team for the labor.

“Perhaps as a result of their work, lawyers have an interest in politics and government,” the man stated. “We’re not all just captives to an eighteen-hour workday at a law firm.”

After traveling to Washington for No Labels last month, the attorney was back in a Chicago courtroom shortly afterward, representing Boeing Co. in cases connected to fatal disasters involving the company’s 737 Max aircraft.

Ballot Access

According to a release from the organization on February 2, 15 states have so far qualified for the presidential election through the ballot initiative of Ballot Access No Labels. After Super Tuesday in March, group officials have stated that they will decide whether or not a third-party candidacy has a realistic chance of winning.

Webb is not engaged in the effort pertaining to ballot access on the ground. According to Ryan Clancy, chief strategist at No Labels, a “strong team of other lawyers” is spearheading that endeavor.

Clancy did not identify the program’s leader, but tax records reveal that Insurance Policy for America Inc., a related company, paid Virginia-based consulting firm Capitol Advisors LLC almost $1 million for “ballot access” services in the first half of 2023.

Court documents reveal that No Labels, which was co-chaired by former senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT), collaborated with the legal firms Caplin & Drysdale and Osborn Maledon during its successful campaign to qualify for the ballot in Arizona, a battleground state.

“The Opposite of Bridging the Divide”

Attacks on No Labels have increased as a result of the work; certain politicians and advocacy organizations have called for its destruction.

Progressive organizations sued the organization in January, claiming it should have disclosed its funders as it is a political committee. No Labels has maintained that, as a 501(c)(4), it is exempt from disclosing its financial backers. Should the organization decide to support a presidential ticket, the contenders would need to establish committees that comply with campaign finance regulations.

In January, the nonprofit was sued by two members of the Durst real estate family who wanted their donations of $145,000 back.

According to Randy Mastro, a litigation partner at King & Spalding who is representing the Dursts, “No Labels played a ‘bait and switch’ here with major donors, claiming originally to be an organization committed to bipartisan unity and, instead, transforming today into a third party, which is the antithesis of bridging the political divide.”

Webb asserted that No Labels’ referral of the Dursts’ lawsuit to the DOJ was a part of a “conspiracy.” The group referenced a Semafor report in its letter requesting a probe, whereby activists from organizations like the Lincoln Project talked about how to damage the reputation of anyone connected to the group.

According to the organization, anti-No Labels activities constitute unlawful intimidation and harassment in addition to free expression. However, given the US’s extensive rights for political expression, such accusations face a “very high bar,” according to Braden, the political law attorney at BakerHostetler.

Co-founders of the Lincoln Project Rick Wilson and Reed Galen stated in the Wall Street Journal that “the Trump administration was the last group that attempted to use the Justice Department to attack the Lincoln Project.” Then, it wasn’t effective. Right now, it won’t function.

Article Source: Bloomberg Law

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