More than $65 Million in Charitable Funds Paid to Jay Sekulow & His Family

By Julie Roys

An article published today by the Associated Press revealed that from 2008-2017, charities funneled $65 million to Trump’s lawyer and Christian radio and TV host, Jay Sekulow, his family, and corporations they own.

The article reveals a convoluted “web of organizations”–both for-profit and non-profit–“that seem to exist to pay compensation to Sekulow and his family members.” For example, the American Center for Law and Justice(ACLJ)—a Sekulow non-profit—paid $37 million over a 10-year period to the CLA Group, Sekulow’s for-profit law firm. Yet according to the AP, this law firm seemingly has no office or support staff, but simply rents a $80-a-month mailbox.

But there appear to be other phantom organizations within the Sekulow for-profit and non-profit web. One of Sekulow’s charities, the Law & Justice Institute, reportedly has only one activity—making annual payments to two for-profit companies.

Sekulow’s charities also seem to be run almost exclusively by family members. A non-profit founded by Sekulow called Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (CASE) has six board members. Every board member shares the last name Sekulow, including Jay’s wife, Pam, and their sons, Jordon and Logan.

The bulk of ACLJ’s annual $23 million budget comes from CASE. And over the 10-year period examined by AP, CASE paid more than $12 million in direct salary and benefits to Sekulow and his family members.

The article also raises questions about whether Sekulow’s charitable activities and partisan activities are intertwined, something that’s prohibited by IRS rules.  Six ACLJ lawyers are named in recent Senate legal briefs as members of Trump’s defense team. 

These unorthodox practices have caught the attention of both government and watchdog organizations. The American Institute of Philanthropy has issued a “Donor Alert” about ACLJ on its CharityWatch website. Also, Josh Stein, a North Carolina Attorney General who’s a Democrat, is investigating the potential abuse of charitable funds raised by the organizations tied to Sekulow.

To read the full AP article, click here.

UPDATE: I researched ACLJ on Charity Navigator, a well-respected charity watchdog group with an objective rating system. Below is ACLJ’s rating, but to read Charity Watch’s complete report, click here.



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43 thoughts on “More than $65 Million in Charitable Funds Paid to Jay Sekulow & His Family”

    1. Bottom Line: Also, Josh Stein, a North Carolina Attorney General who’s a Democrat, ( I cannot BOLD or UNDERLINE on this response) is investigating the potential abuse ….

  1. It is my hope that Julie Roy’s conducts an investigation of her own on this information from Associated Press. It is my hope that she finds corroboration independent of using AP sources. The timing is too convenient for it to be trusted outright. To this date, Julie Roy’s investigative work have been carefully nonpartisan, a record the AP cannot claim without question.

  2. What in the world is this all about???? Is he a crook also and claims to be a Christian. How in the world does this happen? What is the matter with out Christian community in America? What kind of a testimony are we????? We act and talk and conduct business like the unbelievers. SHAME on us.

  3. So what! Give me a break. I have no problem with Jay Sekulow. Unfortunately to defend conservative justice in this system requires $$$. Stick with investigating the crooked churches and pastors who abuse women and children in the name of Jesus. Don’t be a tool for the crazy far left.

    1. So abusing donors’ funds to enrich oneself and one’s family is not a story? Or, it’s only a story if pastors like James MacDonald are doing it, not Christian radio and TV hosts like Jay Sekulow?

    2. Amen, Maria!
      Finally, we can read some common sense.
      Thank you, Maria!

      I find it noteworthy that so many of Maria’s critics [below] don’t deal with the substance — so many prejudiced Trump-haters who ignore that the $65 million figure is for 10 year’s work at a meager $6.5 million per year for a law firm as beneficial and competent as Sekulow’s! 6.5 million a year is a BARGAIN considering what Trump is up against.

      Astonishing the blinders that these mudslingers wear!

      Julie is fair-minded and doggedly capable.
      If there’s fraud and fleecing she’ll bring that to light.

      Armchair mudslingers ;(

  4. Nice try Maria, don’t look at corrupt Sekulow, instead look at this nice shiny object. Trump and the Republicans have forever changed the constitution. They completely ripped it apart. No more oversight. No more impeachment. A President that can do whatever he wants. We now truly have a King. Time for 2nd amendment remedies…

    1. If the President did whatever he wanted, all his adversaries would be in a tent city wearing pink underwear somewhere in Nevada. Get a grip.

  5. I do pray that the ministry of Julie Roys stays on track and maintains a clear eye for Gods work and does not get swallowed up like too many good ministries have .

  6. Susan Vonder Heide

    One does have to be a tad bit wary of the timing of a mainstream media investigation of Jay Seculow on this of all weeks. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have any interest in what they say but it does mean that we should not automatically take what they say at face value.

  7. If something is reported by the AP I automatically do not believe it. They have been lying my entire life. If Julie is going to cite AP, I will stop receiving her emails. No hard feelings. Life is just too short to read or listen to or watch propaganda.

    1. Actually Fox News also reported the problems with Sekulow’s charity. Maybe James MacDonald and Jay Sekulow could team up!

  8. To publicize a damaging report without first attempting to validate the facts (especially from an organization known for their political bias like the AP) is shameful, and Julie of all people should know better. “The one who states his case first seems right until the other comes and examines him” Proverbs 18:17 (ESV). It’s amazing how politics can cloud our objectivity, even for an excellent investigative journalist, but none one is perfect. I sincerely hope she will apply her high standards of due diligence to this story. If so, I look forward to hearing her vetted report on the Seculow’s financial transparency.

    1. Bill, Had the AP reporters not done their job, I wouldn’t have reported the story. However, everything they report is well-sourced and documented. Plus, they sought comment from Sekulow and included the responses of his PR person. Instead of making a vague accusation like the AP is biased, find a fact in the article that doesn’t check out. But if you can’t find fault with the actual reported facts, then I think you should reserve judgment.

      1. I know I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. A thousand thanks, Ms. Roys, for pushing forward on these matters, and for bearing, as part of the consequence, wearying opposition from people who would stifle the exposure of corruption and thus guarantee its growth. Nehemiah had his detractors too.

      2. Julie, Thanks for your reply. The headline to yours (and the AP’s post) was misleading as it stated, “More than $65 Million in Charitable Funds Paid to Jay Sekulow & His Family. Blindly quoting the AP, you left off the words in the article “and corporations they own.” There is obviously a big difference between $65M going directly to Jay and his family, as opposed to Jay, his family, and the corporations they own. His family may hold many board seats, there are however, many non-family employees as well. It seems this headline was intended to denigrate the Sekulows.

        Also, It takes sufficient capital to operate a law firm, and I do find fault with the facts. Can you point out how they derived at the $65M figure? It seems we should ALL reserve judgment until we have the whole story. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not suggesting there isn’t something worth investigating here, but it should be done fairly. I think it undermines your credibility when you echo a bias organization like the AP verbatim without any attempt to check their facts and sources; and first ask for a comment by Jay Sekulow. (And ask during a week he might have time to answer)

  9. Julie I would change the title. At first read it came across that this money was being funneled through you (“Via” )

  10. And the hits just keep on coming!! Who will be next I wonder? Money, sex and power. A very, very bad combination for anyone to immerse himself in. May the Lord have mercy on us all. Come quickly Lord Jesus.

    1. Please Google the truth about Franklin Graham’s sinful, immoral, and unethical games re: his salary. We’ve told BGEA and Samaritan’s Purse to take us off all their contact lists. We will not be supporting them any longer.

  11. Sekulow is in the big leagues and $30 million over 10 years running a national law office from wherever his family members and staff are actually working, is about the cost of the kind of work he does. Get the figures from the nation’s top law firms and see how they compare. Legal Counsel has soared through the roof in the last 2 decades.It is not uncommon for top national attorneys to have their own jets.

  12. I just attended a Franklin Graham crusade in Florida last week.
    No collection; no donations; no money mentioned or talked about.
    Only the Gospel of Jesus Christ and our salvation through Jesus was spoken about.

    If Franklin Graham is getting rich off his ministries, it’s not through his crusades.

  13. SIN is SIN. Wrong is just WRONG. When is there a PERFECT or IMPERFECT time to report wrongdoing?
    It is still SIN
    It is still WRONG
    It still needs to be CALLED OUT.

  14. Everyone is envious because they are getting money. They need it to do their business. Thank God we yet have Christian lawyers.

    1. I don’t know of any liberal non-profit lawyers who do the same. Do you?

      As for timing . . . Did AP choose to drop this story while Sekulow is in the national spotlight? Maybe. But it doesn’t negate the facts of this story–and the fact that other media has been reporting Sekulow’s shady practices for more than a decade. Either way, I think Christians need to face the facts and hold Sekulow accountable just like we would any other Christian leader.

      1. I couldn’t agree more Julie.
        This deeply saddens me.
        Personally, I’m done with support for these so called Ministries.
        If I don’t know the specific person or ministry personall. I will not support them financially, I’m focusing my giving on the local charities my church is involved in.
        And helping the local food bank.
        Thank you for your ministry. Keep up the good work

  15. I don’t mind Sekulow being wealthy, though if he’s presenting himself as in ministry, yes, that looks bad. Nor do I have problems with him doing political advocacy outside of ALCJ’s time and dime. To argue otherwise would be to gut the 1st Amendment. I’m no fan of his “tone”, being a little on the strident side for me, but at the end of the day, it comes down to “whose money was paying Sekulow and his friends?” If it’s Trump’s, or such, fine. If it’s money laundering to hide it, why, Jay?

    Just my 2 cents. I’m not enough of an accountant to map out the trail, so I can’t declare anything on complicating accounting schemes beyond “if you’re doing super fancy things with accounting, why?”

  16. Julie, I will disagree with you on this rare occasion. Jay Sekulow is not a Christian minister or claiming to be. Please provide me some investigation about how Planned Parenthood lawyers and ACLU lawyers are paid then I will gladly review this issue again.

  17. “Watchman for Zion” From someone who has been burned twice Samaritan’s Purse is a scam. Just do your research…

  18. If this con-artist wasn’t in the middle of crazy presidential politics, few would be defending him. Prof. Throckmorton has put a spotlight on Jay a while back for these same things. In America we will gladly tolerate any crimes as long as the criminals tickle our ears with the “right” or “left” political rhetoric. I hate this blatant hypocrisy from both sides of the aisles. And so many who call themselves Christians disagree with Jesus Christ when He said that “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Big money millionaires and Jesus just do not mix…

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