Non-profit

Protect Democracy Project (PDP)

Website:

protectdemocracyproject.org

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

81-4777062

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Formation:

2017

Type:

Anti-Trump Litigation Organization

The Protect Democracy Project (PDP) is a left-of-center litigation organization created to oppose the policies of President Donald Trump.

United to Protect Democracy is the 501(c)(4) advocacy affiliate of the Protect Democracy Project.

Activity

Petition for Resignation of Attorney General William Barr

Eight legal analysts that work for CNN and MSNBC along with four former federal prosecutors collectively signed a petition created by the Protect Democracy Project. The petition demanded that Attorney General William Barr resign due to his instructions to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington to revise a court filing regarding the case of Roger Stone. [1]

Roger Stone was originally convicted of charges of obstruction, witness tampering, and providing false statements to Congress. Prosecutors stated that he obstructed the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into the Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections. He was accused of making false statements to the House Intelligence Committee in which he denied having possession of documents that were being pursued by the committee. [2] Furthermore, Roger Stone was accused of threatening radio host Randy Credico to comply with his testimony, namely that Credico facilitated communication between Roger Stone and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during the 2016 presidential election. [3]

The petition protests the revised sentencing recommendation initiated by Attorney General William Barr. The U.S. Attorney Office in Washington stated that they sought to revise the previous sentencing of Roger Stone that charged him with imprisonment of 87-108 months. The U.S. Attorney Office emphasized that they believed this previous charge was more in-line with cases regarding violent offenses rather than charges of obstruction.

The petition addressed Justice Department employees and encouraged them to report any perceived abuses to the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General, the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility, and Congress. [4]

Ultimately, Stone was sentenced to 40 months in prison after he was accused for tampering with the testimony of a witness and for his involvement in the Trump campaign’s alleged relationship with the Russian government during the 2016 presidential elections. [5]

Leadership

President and Executive Director

Ian Bassin is president and executive director of the Protect Democracy Project, the same position he holds in United to Protect Democracy. [6] [7] In 2017, Bassin’s total compensation from both organizations totaled $185,943, with an additional estimated compensation of $16,577 from both nonprofits. [8] Bassin served as associate White House counsel for the Obama administration from 2009 to 2011. [9]

Justin Florence is legal director for PDP. In 2017, Florence earned a salary of $119,805. [10] Florence previously served in private business and securities litigation practice and the Office of the White House Counsel. Florence has also served as senior counsel on the staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he “worked for Senator Sheldon Whitehouse [D-RI].” [11]

Allison Murphy and Laurence Schwartzol serve as legal counsel to PDP. In 2017, Murphy earned a salary of $124,733 and Schwartzol a salary of $100,435. [12]

Board of Directors

The Protect Democracy Project board of directors consists of Bassin, Emily Loeb, Cecilia Munoz, Ricki Seidman, Sabeel Rahman, and Justin Florence. [13]

Funding

PDP has received $100,000 in general operating support grants from the left-wing Hewlett Foundation in 2018. [14] The grant was made through Hewlett’s “Madison Initiative,” a fund for “strengthening U.S. democracy and its institutions . . . in a time of political polarization.” [15] Other Madison Initiative grant recipients include the Third Way Institute, Pew Charitable Trusts, Brennan Center for Justice, and Bipartisan Policy Center. [16]

According to its 2017 IRS filing (Form 990), United to Protect Democracy and Protect Democracy Project are not “‘related organizations’ as that term is defined the [IRS] Form 990 glossary.” However, the organizations have a “cost-sharing agreement” in which the Protect Democracy Project “pays United to Protect Democracy (UPD) for its allocable share of personnel, equipment, facilities and other resources.” [17]

In 2017, Protect Democracy Project’s gross revenues were $2.66 million, its expenditures were $1.22 million, and its net assets were $3.2 million. [18]

Advisers

Protect Democracy Project and United to Protect Democracy list dozens of advisers to the organizations. Notable advisers include Jerry Taylor, president of the nominally libertarian think tank Niskanen Center; failed 2016 presidential candidate and Stand Up Republic co-founder Evan McMullin; failed 2016 vice presidential candidate and Stand Up Republic co-founder Mindy Finn; and Defending Democracy Together directors Mona Charen and Linda Chavez. [19]

References

  1. Ross, Chuck. “CNN And MSNBC Analysts Sign Petition Urging William Barr To Resign.” The Daily Caller. The Daily Caller News Foundation. February 16, 2020. https://dailycaller.com/2020/02/16/cnn-msnbc-analysts-petition-resign-barr/. ^
  2. Blitzer, Ronn. “Roger Stone Case: Timeline of Trump Associate’s Dramatic Prosecution.” Fox News Live. FOX News Network. February 13, 2020. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/roger-stone-case-timeline-of-trump-associates-dramatic-prosecution. ^
  3. Forgey, Quint. “Roger Stone Trial Witness Defends Prosecutors from Trump’s ‘Vile Smear Job’.” Legal. Politico. February 12, 2020. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/02/12/randy-credico-roger-stone-trial-114415. ^
  4. Ross, Chuck. “CNN And MSNBC Analysts Sign Petition Urging William Barr To Resign.” The Daily Caller. The Daily Caller News Foundation. February 16, 2020. https://dailycaller.com/2020/02/16/cnn-msnbc-analysts-petition-resign-barr/. ^
  5. Gambino, Lauren. “Roger Stone Sentenced to 40 Months in Prison Despite Request for New Trial.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. February 20, 2020. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/feb/20/roger-stone-sentence-judge-refuses-new-trial-request. ^
  6. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). United to Protect Democracy (2017). Part VIII, Section A. Available here: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2019/03/united-to-protect-democracy-2017-form-990.pdf ^
  7. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Protect Democracy Project (2016). Part VIII, Section A. ^
  8. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). United to Protect Democracy (2017). Schedule O (for Part VII). Available here: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2019/03/united-to-protect-democracy-2017-form-990.pdf ^
  9. “Meet the Team.” Protect Democracy. Accessed March 7, 2019. https://protectdemocracy.org/meet-the-team/ ^
  10. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). United to Protect Democracy (2017). Part VII, Section A. Available here: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2019/03/protect-democracy-project-2017-form-990.pdf ^
  11. “Meet the Team.” Protect Democracy. Accessed March 7, 2019. https://protectdemocracy.org/meet-the-team/ ^
  12. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). United to Protect Democracy (2017). Part VII, Section A. Available here: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2019/03/protect-democracy-project-2017-form-990.pdf ^
  13. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Protect Democracy Project (2016). Part VIII, Section A. ^
  14. “Protect Democracy Project.” Hewlett Foundation. March 7, 2019. https://hewlett.org/grants/protect-democracy-project-for-general-operating-support/; Available here: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2019/03/protect-democracy-project-hewlett-foundation-grant-2018.pdf ^
  15. “Madison Initative.” Hewlett Foundation. Accessed March 7, 2019. https://hewlett.org/strategy/madison-initiative/ ^
  16. “Grants (sorted by Madison Initiative).” Hewlett Foundation. Accessed March 7, 2019. https://hewlett.org/grants/?sort=date&grant_programs=70696&current_page=4 ^
  17. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). United to Protect Democracy (2017). Schedule O (for Part VII). Available here: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2019/03/united-to-protect-democracy-2017-form-990.pdf ^
  18. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). United to Protect Democracy (2017). Part VII, Section A. Available here: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2019/03/protect-democracy-project-2017-form-990.pdf ^
  19. “Meet the Team.” United to Protect Democracy. Accessed March 7, 2019. https://protectdemocracy.org/meet-the-team/ ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Ian Bassin
    President and Executive Director
  2. Mindy Finn
    Adviser
  3. Cecilia Munoz
    Board Member
  See an error? Let us know!

Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: August 1, 2017

  • Available Filings

    No filings available.

    Protect Democracy Project (PDP)

    2020 PENNSYLVANIA AVE NW STE 163
    WASHINGTON, DC 20006-1811