Warren Made at Least $1.9 Million for Legal Work

December 9, 2019 Updated: December 9, 2019
FONT BFONT SText size

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, made at least $1.9 million for her legal work in the past, her campaign said.

The campaign released 15 pages of new data, adding to a list it released in May showing Warren’s compensation for cases she worked on as an attorney going back to the 1980s.

Kristen Orthman, communications director for Warren’s campaign, said that Warren “voluntarily disclosed on her campaign website a list and descriptions of her legal work” in May.

“Tonight we have updated it to include the income she earned from each case,” she added. The list is here.

“If Democrats are going to defeat Donald Trump, or whoever the Republican Party might replace him with, we must nominate a candidate who can create the most robust possible contrast against Republicans on conflicts of interest and corruption issues,” Orthman said in a statement.

“Elizabeth does not sell access to her time—no closed door big dollar fundraisers, no bundling program, no perks or promises to any wealthy donor. She is one of the only candidates who has pledged to end the practice of appointing campaign donors as U.S. ambassadors over pro diplomats.”

pete buttigieg
Democratic presidential candidate South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg arrives at a campaign event in Coralville, Iowa on Dec. 8, 2019. Less than two months remain before Iowa holds its caucuses in the nation’s first contest in the 2020 presidential election. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The release comes after Warren and rival Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, battled over financial transparency in recent weeks. Warren says Buttigieg has not been forthcoming enough about his financial past and criticized his closed-door fundraisers.

Warren said on Dec. 7 that she would not release her tax returns from before 2008.

“This is about the conflicts he is creating every single day right now,” she said about Buttigieg. “This is not about what happened 15 years ago, 20 years ago.”

She said the conflicts were “when candidates for president sell access to their time.”

“I’ve already put out 11 years of my tax returns. That’s exactly 11 years more than Donald Trump. It is three years more than Barack Obama did at the same time,” she said.

Lis Smith, Buttigieg’s communications senior adviser, said that “Our next nominee must be able to go toe to toe with @realDonaldTrump on financial transparency.”

“Releasing tax returns is a standard practice- she should match @PeteButtigieg’s transparency and release her tax returns going back through her years as corporate lawyer,” Smith said.

Warren’s campaign said Sunday’s disclosure provides more information on her business income than releasing additional, past tax returns would because her tax documents don’t fully itemize earnings the same way the details it released do.

Among the clients for whom Warren consulted were the attorneys for Rabobank, a Dutch financial institution that became a creditor in the Enron bankruptcy; former directors of Getty Oil, who were involved in Texaco’s bankruptcy; and women whose allegations of harm from silicone breast implants produced by Dow Corning were imperiled when the company filed for bankruptcy.

The cases listed involve Warren serving as a consultant, mediator, or expert witness in addition to those in which she served as counsel. Her largest disclosed payday was nearly $187,000 for a case originally filed in 1995. Her campaign said Warren “represented a well-known chain of department stores to make sure that it could stay alive and pay its creditors. Elizabeth succeeded, and the company continued to employ people across its many stores.”

Warren taught at Harvard Law School before being elected to the Senate in 2012.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber