WASHINGTON, DC — Accountable.US research outlines the latest example of Leonard Leo’s blatant self-dealing. Americans for Public Trust (APT), a so-called “watchdog” on the right, receives the vast majority of its budget from Leo’s nonprofit network — and routes much of it right back to Leo.
Leo’s DonorsTrust contributed $1.5 million to Americans for Public Trust in 2022 and has consistently funded them since 2020. APT also received funding from The Legacy Foundation, another Leo-backed organization.
Simultaneously, APT funnels hundreds of thousands of dollars to Leo’s consulting firm, CRC Advisors, each year. In 2022 alone, APT funneled 28% of its expenses to Leo’s firm even as its revenue fell by more than 50% from the previous year.
This sort of circular payment structure prompted DC Attorney General Brian Schwalb to open an investigation into Leo’s network following allegations that the far-right activist misused nonprofit dollars to enrich himself and his allies.
Americans for Public Trust enriches Leonard Leo, attacks groups that oppose his dangerous agenda, and pumps a significant portion of its operating budget back into Leo’s for-profit firm — the same self-enrichment that prompted an investigation by the DC Attorney General."