Person

Noah Bookbinder

Occupation:

Executive Director, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington

Former Director of the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs, United States Sentencing Commission

Noah Bookbinder is the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a left-of-center advocacy group headquartered in Washington, D.C. Before joining CREW, Bookbinder worked as an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice and as chief counsel for criminal justice for the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, under then-committee chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), for which he worked to support left-of-center policies on criminal justice. During his tenure at CREW, the organization has been accused of growing increasingly partisan and left-wing, and of largely avoiding offering scrutiny on Democratic politicians in favor of attacks on conservatives.

Background

Noah Bookbinder graduated with a bachelor’s in arts from Yale University in 1995 and received his law degree from Stanford Law School in 1998. [1] Starting in 1999 and continuing until 2005 he worked as a trial attorney for the United States Department of Justice. Between 2005 and 2013 he held the title of chief counsel for criminal justice for the United States Senate Judiciary Committee. In this capacity he worked in support of Senate Democrats, especially then-Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to support a left-of-center agenda on criminal justice reform. [2] Between 2013 and 2015, Bookbinder served as the director of the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs at the United States Sentencing Commission, where he again worked to further left-of-center objectives in sentencing policy. [3]

CREW

Since 2015 Bookbinder has worked as the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) an advocacy group which targets conservative politicians and groups the organization feels have violated ethical rules. [4] While CREW claims to be non-partisan, it has been described as “liberal government watchdog” by the New York Times,[5] and as a “…a partisan lapdog to left-leaning politicians”, by Richard Berman in an opinion piece written for the Washington Examiner. [6]

Since 2014 CREW has become increasingly ideologically left-wing, after it became associated with Clinton family-aligned Democratic political operative David Brock. [7] In 2017, groups under the direction of Brock set a budget of $40 million in opposition of President Trump and his administration. [8] A major focus of the funding was CREW, which serves as a center of legal opposition to the Trump Administration. As executive director, Bookbinder is one of the primary implementors of this agenda. CREW has been accused of hypocrisy over its targeting of conservative groups for not disclosing their donors,[9] a practice CREW itself follows. [10] CREW has pursued aggressive litigation against right-of-center organizations during Bookbinder’s executive directorship, and has been publicly critical of “dark money” practices, which CREW is alleged to practice themselves. [11]

Bookbinder is a prolific contributor to national and international media and has often written op-eds and articles for the New York Times and Washington Post. [12] [13] He has also been interviewed by Qatari government owned publication Al-Jazeera, where he gave comments critical of the Trump administration and the president. [14]

References

  1. “Noah Bookbinder.” LinkedIn, n.d. https://www.linkedin.com/in/noah-bookbinder-6241161/. ^
  2. “Noah Bookbinder.” CREW. Accessed December 5, 2019. https://www.citizensforethics.org/team-member/team-member-4/. ^
  3. “Noah Bookbinder.” CREW. Accessed December 5, 2019. https://www.citizensforethics.org/team-member/team-member-4/. ^
  4. Vogel, Kenneth P. “David Brock Expands Empire.” POLITICO, August 14, 2014. https://www.politico.com/story/2014/08/david-brock-citizens-for-responsibility-and-ethics-in-washington-110003. ^
  5. Rosman, Katherine. “Eric Goode, a New York Night-Life Impresario, Takes On Trump.” The New York Times. The New York Times, June 1, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/01/style/eric-goode-donald-trump-emoluments-clause.html. ^
  6. “Washington’s Unethical Ethics Watchdog.” The Washington Times. The Washington Times, September 18, 2017. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/sep/18/citizens-for-responsibility-and-ethics-shows-washi/.[/note] In his role as executive director at CREW, Bookbinder has stridently criticized the administration of President Donald Trump and is a strong supporter of impeaching and removing President Trump from office. [note]Sargent, Greg. “Opinion | Trump’s Corruption Must Play a Key Role in Impeachment Hearings.” The Washington Post. WP Company, September 24, 2019. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/09/24/trumps-corruption-must-play-key-role-impeachment-hearings/. ^
  7. Debenedetti, Gabriel. “Brock Groups Set $40 Million Budget to Fight Trump.” POLITICO, January 21, 2017. https://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/david-brock-fundraising-trump-233974. ^
  8. Debenedetti, Gabriel. “Brock Groups Set $40 Million Budget to Fight Trump.” POLITICO, January 21, 2017. https://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/david-brock-fundraising-trump-233974. ^
  9. Singer, Paul. “Watchdog, Donors Share Common Foes.” Roll Call, January 28, 2008. https://www.rollcall.com/news/-21796-1.html. ^
  10. “Donor Privacy Policy.” CREW. Accessed December 5, 2019. https://www.citizensforethics.org/donor-privacy-policy/. ^
  11. Singer, Paul. “Watchdog, Donors Share Common Foes.” Roll Call, January 28, 2008. https://www.rollcall.com/news/-21796-1.html. ^
  12. Bookbinder, Noah. “Gordon Sondland Leaves Us With No Other Option.” The New York Times. The New York Times, November 20, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/20/opinion/gordon-sondland-impeachment-ukraine.html. ^
  13. “Noah Bookbinder.” The Washington Post. WP Company. Accessed December 5, 2019. https://www.washingtonpost.com/people/noah-bookbinder/. ^
  14. Al Jazeera. “Noah Bookbinder Q&A: Is Trump Violating the US Constitution?” USA | Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera, October 22, 2018. https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/noah-bookbinder-qa-trump-violating-constitution-181017064530911.html. ^
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