Protect The Investigation



Center-Left Litigation and Advocacy Group

Project of:

Sixteen Thirty Fund

Contact InfluenceWatch with suggested edits or tips for additional profiles.

Protect the Investigation was an initiative created by a coalition of left-of-center organizations in order to help advance the since-disproven belief that President Donald Trump’s 2016 Presidential campaign colluded with the Russian government. The initiative intended to advance public support for the theory and support for the corresponding investigation by the U.S. House of Representatives. 1 The initiative was also critical of the Republican-led processes in the impeachment trial against President Trump held by the Senate. 2

Protect the Investigation’s source of funding is unknown, but the left-of-center Sixteen Thirty Fund (1630 Fund), a lobbying and advocacy organization, is listed as the company operating the initiative. 34 In fact, the Twitter link and Facebook link for Protect the Investigation leads to the Twitter and Facebook pages of Defend American Democracy, another left-of-center group created by the Sixteen Thirty Fund to advocate for President Trump’s impeachment. 5 The Sixteen Thirty Fund has received contributions from left-of-center organizations including Arabella Advisors, the Tides Foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies, and a number of labor unions. 6

Protect the Investigation partnered with left-of-center organizations including Nobody is Above the Law, Tax March, The Moscow Project, Stand Up America, People for the American Way, Demand Justice, and the Truman National Security Project.

Activities Removed from Website

The website for Protect the Investigation has removed all information regarding its activities. However, digital archives of the website for Protect the Investigation reveal that the initiative was attempting to tie non-collusion-related criminal investigations arising from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation with allegations of collusion. 7 The initiative did so by making incendiary claims regarding democracy being “under attack” and the threat of Russian “interference” with elections, and tying those claims to criminal investigations that were not, even in Special Counsel Mueller’s formal allegations of wrongdoing, allegations of collusion between members of President Trump’s 2016 campaign and the Russian government. 8

Harassment of Senators

During the Senate impeachment hearings of President Trump, Protect the Investigation employed veteran constituents of then-U.S. Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ) to harass her while she was walking through a Senate building, yelling at her and demanding meetings. 9

Advisory Board

The advisory board for Protect the Investigation included leadership from a number of left-of-center and left-wing think tanks, advocacy groups, investigative organizations, and academics. The members of the initiative included former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent and academic Asha Rangappa, Austin Evers of American Oversight, Bishop Garrison of Human Rights First, Elizabeth Wydra of the Constitution Accountability Center, Lisa Gilbert of Public Citizen, Max Bergmann of the Center for American Progress, Ned Price of National Security Action, and Vanita Gupta. 10


  1. “No one is above the law” Protect the Investigation. Automated Tweet.
  2. “Impeachment Explained” Facebook (Video produced by Protect the Investigation).
  3. “Sixteen Thirty Fund” opencorporates.
  4. “It’s Time to Put Country Over Politics.” Defend American Democracy. Accessed February 13, 2020.
  5. Bland, Scott. “Liberal secret-money network hammers House GOP”
  6. “protect the investigation” WayBackMachine. September 13, 2018. Accessed November 4, 2020.
  7. “protect the investigation” WayBackMachine. September 13, 2018. Accessed November 4, 2020.
  8. “Defend American Democracy on MSNBC” Facebook (Video produced by Protect the Investigation).
  9. “About” Protect the Investigation.
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