You are hereSalon: The powerful law firm at the center of the WikiLeaks plot

Salon: The powerful law firm at the center of the WikiLeaks plot

Hunton & Williams represents big energy companies like Koch Industries -- and also schemed against WikiLeaks 

February 15, 2011- One of the big outstanding questions in the story of the plot to undermine WikiLeaks and Salon's Glenn Greenwald, as well as a separate plan to discredit critics of the Chamber of Commerce, is the nature of the role played by the large international law firm Hunton & Williams.

Hunton, which brags it employs 1,000 lawyers in 18 offices on three continents, has worked for both the Chamber and Bank of America. The company is nervous because WikiLeaks is reportedly planning to release internal bank documents, and Bank of America apparently connected with Hunton to help respond to the crisis.

Hunton attorneys in turn had a series of e-mail communications -- since hacked by WikiLeaks supporters and published online -- with a trio of technology firms that proposed various schemes to attack WikiLeaks, Greenwald and critics of the Chamber. (One typical idea was to provide labor activists with false documents in order to discredit them.)

Unlike the Chamber and Bank of America, which have issued statements denying any responsibility for the attack plans, Hunton has been conspicuously silent. The firm did not respond to requests for comment from Salon last week. And the three specific attorneys at the firm who were involved in the episode have not responded to my requests for comment today. So now is a good time to look at the firm and the rarefied space it occupies in the legal world.

What makes Hunton's involvement in the anti-WikiLeaks scheming so striking is that the firm represents some of the biggest names in corporate America. Hunton's website touts its representation of Wells Fargo, Altria (aka Phillip Morris), the telecom Cingular, and defense contractor General Dynamics, among many others.

Hunton also has a big lobbying business in Washington. Its clients include Koch Industries, the private energy giant whose owners fund a range of right-wing and libertarian causes. (See the 2010 lobbying records for Hunton's work for Koch here; it involved fighting climate change legislation.) Other clients include Americans for Affordable Climate Policy, which is funded by the coal industry, the Gas Processors Association, the nuclear power company Entergy, U.S. Sugar Corp., and so on.



Backbone Campaign
Liberty Tree
Progressive Democrats of America
Peoples Email Network
Justice Through Music
Locust Fork Journal
Berkeley Fellowship UU\'s Social Justice Committee
The Smirking Chimp
Progressive Democrats Sonoma County
Center for Media and Democracy
Chelsea Neighbors United
Atlanta Progressive News
Yes Men
No Nukes North