Watchdog Accuses Biden Judicial Nominee Of Trying To Cover Up Financial Conflicts, Demands He Withdraw

By Katelynn Richardson

A Biden judicial nominee under fire for ties to an anti-Israel group and groups that support defunding the police is now facing a call by the conservative watchdog American Accountability Foundation (AAF) to withdraw for failing to disclose the sources of his income.

AAF sent Adeel Mangi a letter Thursday demanding he ask President Joe Biden to withdraw his nomination for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, calling Mangi’s failure to include income sources on his Financial Disclosure Report “disqualifying.” Though the White House has doubled down on its support for Mangi, at least one Senate Democrat, Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, said Tuesday she would not support him.

“Despite your extensive legal education and your years as a partner at a prestigious law firm you were unable to complete this vital disclosure form with the level of disclosure required by law,” AAF’s letter states. “After reviewing how unambiguous and straightforward the guidance is and understanding your level of professional legal education, it is difficult to come to any conclusion other than you were attempting to withhold vital information from the public.”

AAF noted the income source information omitted on his report is “vital to understanding what specific conflicts of interest [an] attorney may have before assuming the bench.”

Mangi’s disclosure notes that he earned $2,306,626 in 2022, $4,440,000 in 2023 and $0 in 2024 from the firm where he is a partner, Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, but does not list clients. (RELATED: Biden White House Defends Judicial Nominee Questioned Over Previous Affiliation With Anti-Israel Org)

During the time period covered by his disclosure, Mangi represented clients that included companies like Appian Corporation, Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems and Blue Buffalo, according to the questionnaire he submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Disclosure reports must “identify the filer’s sources of compensation (other than from United States government employment) exceeding $5,000 during either of the preceding two calendar years or during the current calendar year up to the date of filing, and must briefly describe the nature of the duties performed or services rendered by the reporting individual for each such source of compensation,” according to guidance for nominees cited in the letter.

Information considered “confidential as a result of a privileged relationship” need not be reported, though an example provided in the guidance notes the “name of the client would not normally be considered confidential.”

“A nominee who is a partner or employee of a law firm who has worked on a matter involving a client from which the firm received fees during a calendar year must report the name of the client and the filer’s amount of compensation if the compensation received by the nominee exceeded $5,000,” the guidance clarifies.

Republicans have slammed Mangi’s affiliation with the Rutgers Law School’s Center for Security, Race and Rights (CSRR), where he sat on the advisory board from 2019 to 2023, for the organization’s  “antisemitic extremism.”

The CSRR issued a statement blaming Israel for Hamas’ Oct. 7 terrorist attack. It also co-sponsored an event on the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11 to “challenge” the narrative of the attack, where activist Sami Al-Arian, who pleaded guilty in 2006 to conspiring to provide services to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group, was featured as a speaker.

Mangi said the board only met once a year and that he was not aware of the Sept. 11 event before his confirmation hearing, according to Courthouse News.

Mangi previously failed to disclose his role in moderating a 2022 panel for the National Association of Muslim Lawyer’s annual conference, which included Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) litigation director Lena Masri, according to the Washington Examiner. He later issued an apology for the oversight.

Several major law enforcement organizations, including New York’s largest police organization representing over 50,000 officers, opposed his nomination because he serves as an Alliance of Families for Justice advisory board member. His affiliation with the group is also behind Cortez Masto’s opposition.

“Mr. Mangi’s affiliation with the Alliance of Families for Justice is deeply concerning,” Cortez Masto told Politico. “This organization has sponsored a fellowship in the name of Kathy Boudin, a member of the domestic terrorist organization Weather Underground, and advocated for the release of individuals convicted of killing police officers.”

The White House has said Mangi is facing “uniquely hostile attacks” due to “his Muslim faith.”

“There is no excuse for this flagrant withholding of vital ethics disclosures from the public,” AAF’s letter continues. “Because of your flagrant disregard for the rules and repeated efforts to hide required disclosures from the public it is unreasonable to expect the American people to view you as trustworthy, an essential attribute of a federal judge.”

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