Warren was paid at least $1.9M for past legal work

Politics

Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren speaks during a town hall, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Elizabeth Warren was paid nearly $2 million for legal work stretching back three decades, her campaign disclosed Sunday night, amid calls from a top Democratic presidential rival that the Massachusetts senator should be more forthcoming about what she earned from past corporate clients.

In May, Warren released a list of close to 60 cases she worked on as an attorney going back to the 1980s. Fifteen pages of new data now shows what she was paid in nearly 40 of those — about $1.9 million.

The list includes “all the income she earned from each case that we have been able to determine from public records, Elizabeth’s personal records, and other sources,” Warren spokeswoman Kristen Orthman said.

“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.”

The new information comes against the backdrop of an escalating feud between Warren and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana. Last week, Warren decried the mayor’s attending of closed-door fundraisers, saying, “I think that Mayor Pete should open up the doors so that anyone can come in and report on what’s being said.” She added, “No one should be left to wonder what kind of promises are being made to the people that then pony up big bucks to be in the room.”

Buttigieg and his campaign shot back that Warren should release more of her past tax returns, shedding additional light on what she earned as an attorney for rich and powerful firms — setting the stage for Sunday’s disclosure.Warren had previously released 11 years of tax returns.

The pair have also clashed over Buttigieg’s past work for powerful consulting firm McKinsey & Co. from 2007 to 2010. Buttigieg on Friday released a summary of the work he did — but he has not heeded Warren’s calls to make public a full client list, citing a nondisclosure agreement he signed with McKinsey.

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.

A steady rise in the polls throughout the summer landed Warren among the Democratic primary front-runners, but polling in recent weeks has suggested her support is plateauing or beginning to slip. At the same time, Buttigieg has seen his polling numbers improve enough to become a front-runner himself, with the lead-off Iowa caucuses now less than two months away.

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.

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