Trump lawyer targets poor for donations to fight Obamacare via charity that pays his family millions

Jay Sekulow directed fundraisers for Christian not-for-profit group to push for contributions if people said they could not afford to give money, files show

Since 2000, the not-for-profit group and an affiliate have steered more than $60m to Sekulow, members of his family and businesses where they hold senior roles. Photograph: Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images

An attorney to Donald Trump is pressuring hard-up Americans to donate money to the Christian not-for-profit group that pays his family millions of dollars, saying the funds are urgently needed to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Jay Sekulow this month again directed fundraisers for Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (Case) to push people for contributions if they said they could not afford to give money to the group, according to a contract obtained by the Guardian.

A script agreed in the contract, which was signed by Sekulow, instructed the fundraisers to tell people their money was needed for Case’s “massive campaign to repeal and replace Obamacare” if they initially declined to donate a suggested sum.

“Many people are helping with smaller amounts,” fundraisers were told to say. “Can Jay count on you for a smaller, but just as important gift?” People should be urged a third time to donate if they continued to resist, the script said.

Fundraisers were told that if asked for information on Sekulow, they should say: “He never charges for his services”. Since 2000, the not-for-profit group and an affiliate have steered more than $60m to Sekulow, members of his family and businesses where they hold senior roles.

The contract was signed with the Ohio-based firm Donor Care Center and covers Case fundraising activities in at least 16 states. It came into effect on 1 June and lasts until 31 May 2018. The Guardian on Tuesday reported that Sekulow approved a similar plan to press low-income people for donations in 2009.

Sekulow and Case brought several legal challenges against Barack Obama’s…

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