Jim Bopp signs onto to Trump campaign

James Bopp

One of the nation's leading campaign finance and First Amendment attorneys — a Terre Haute native who still has an office here — is going to work for President Donald Trump's campaign.

James Bopp Jr. confirmed Friday that he has been retained by the campaign to re-elect President Donald Trump to serve as "special counsel for strategic and campaign finance law advice."

The first note of Bopp's employment with the campaign was found in the most recent Federal Election Campaign disclosures, which noted Bopp's firm was paid $25,000 in August for it's services and was reported by Carrie Levine of the Center for Public Integrity.

"It's the ultimate client so far as campaign finance is concerned," Bopp said. "To represent the president of the United States in his re-election campaign is really the ultimate.

"Now, I've done really everything else. I've argued six cases in the U.S. Supreme Court, represented the largest not-for-profit advocacy groups in the country — on the conservative side — and represented major candidates, like Mitch Daniels' gubernatorial campaign and others. ... So as far as representing candidates, this would be the ultimate."

Bopp said Jay Sekulow, chief lawyer for Trump, reached out and asked if he'd be interested in working for the campaign. After accepting the invitation and receiving approval from the president, Bopp went to work on an assignment, he said.

Bopp said he expects to work on a series of projects through the 2020 election.

Bopp has crisscrossed the nation for more than 30 years, working on more than 150 cases in state and federal courts, working to change laws he believes inhibit the expression of free speech in political campaigns by citizens, candidates, issue-advocacy groups and corporations.

His most prominent work came in the landmark Citizens United vs. the Federal Election Commission case, which overturned restrictions on spending by corporations and labor unions to support or defeat political candidates.

He initiated the case in 2008, defending the conservative nonprofit Citizens United’s attempts to air a 90-minute television program in opposition to then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The case was a challenge to campaign law prohibiting ads by corporations shortly before an election.

Ultimately, the Supreme Court’s Jan. 21, 2010, decided 5-4 in favor of Citizens United.

Reporter Alex Modesitt can be reached at 812-231-4232 or at alex.modesitt@tribstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @TribStarAlex. 

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