Anti-Chamber activists will file bar complaints against the business group's powerful law firm
Three attorneys at Hunton & Williams, the international law firm that is implicated in a scheme to attack WikiLeaks and critics of the Chamber of Commerce, will be hit with bar complaints next week by anti-Chamber activists who were targeted in the scheme.
“It’s a powerhouse law firm and if they’re allowed to deal in this kind of illegal activity, what do ethics in the law mean?” asks Kevin Zeese, attorney for the group StopTheChamber.com. “These guys are openly talking about potentially criminal activities — invading privacy, moving toward libel and slander and defamation of character — by creating forged documents, tricking us to putting them out, and accusing us of putting out disinformation.”
Remember, Hunton is the law firm for the Chamber that worked with three technology firms to develop plans to undermine critics of the business group by various forms of subterfuge (see the proposal about creating false documents that would be used to discredit Chamber critics here). The Chamber has disavowed any knowledge of the proposal, but Hunton has persistently declined to comment.
In one exchange of e-mails that has been seized on by Stop The Chamber’s Zeese, Hunton attorney John Woods wrote to Aaron Barr, CEO of HBGary Federal, one of the tech firms:
If you really want to impress Richard [Wyatt], I would look at the following web-site and tell him something about the guys behind it:
That link goes to Stop the Chamber’s website. Richard Wyatt is another attorney at Hunton who has represented the Chamber in the past. Hunton and the three attorneys who are linked to the case have declined to comment since hacked e-mails detailing the firm’s role in the planning were published last week.
Zeese says he plans to file complaints with the D.C. bar against Woods, Wyatt and a third attorney, Bob Quackenboss, on Monday. He says Stop the Chamber will ask “for action up to and including loss of bar license.” The D.C. bar has a primer on the complaint process here, which explains that misconduct can include “dishonesty and deceit.” (The rules of professional conduct are here.) Disbarment appears to be the strongest possible punishment.
For more background on the full role of Hunton & Williams, read my in-depth story on the firm here. I’ve asked the firm for comment on the bar complaints, and will update this story if I hear back.
In a separate development today, the union SEIU announced a study of server logs showing that Hunton employees spent 20 hours on the SEIU’s website in November when some of the anti-Chamber planning — including against SEIU — occurred.
More Related Stories
- Top 5 investigative videos of the week: "Winning" Afghanistan
- Jester clowns Westboro Baptist Church
- GOP: Party of crybabies
- Developers evict historic women's shelter to build luxury hotel
- Guantánamo prisoner on hunger strike cries for help on Twitter
- 3 possible solutions to international tax avoidance
- “I just want the U.S. to send my father home”
- Army weapons engineer tied to white nationalist organizations
- Ted Cruz against the world
- David Vitter's hypocritical, punitive, horrible new amendment
- Louie Gohmert: Women should be forced to carry nonviable pregnancies to term
- Could hackers destroy the U.S. power grid?
- Democrats may be even worse than Republicans at regulating Wall Street
- Eric Holder versus journalism
- A progressive defense of drones
- There's no substitute for government disaster relief
- Holder signed off on search warrant for reporter
- Mississippi could begin prosecuting women for miscarriages
- Mike Judge: "Bowling for Columbine" made me pro-gun
- Closing Gitmo is not enough
- Murkowski: Palin too disengaged to run for Senate
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11