BH Fund & BH Group

BH Fund & BH Group are a pair of organizations closely linked to Leonard Leo with little to no public presence.

About BH Fund & BH Group

The BH Fund Shuffled Money Between Organizations Working on Conservative Causes, Mainly on Judicial Issues, With Little Transparency. The BH Group is a For-Profit Entity Used to Pay Leonard Leo and Others for Their Fundraising and Consulting Work.

The now-defunct BH Fund and the BH Group — which is still an active entity — were a pair of organizations closely linked to Leonard Leo with little to no public presence. BH Fund was a nonprofit formed in 2016 alongside two other Leo entities – the Freedom and Opportunity Fund, and America Engaged. These three entities were used to funnel millions to organizations that boosted the Supreme Court nominations of Neil Gorsuch and Brett KavanaughLeonard Leo became the president of these nonprofits, which were set up by the conservative law firm Holtzman Vogel. Within the first two years of incorporation, these three groups raised about $33 million. The same law firm formed BH Group, a private limited liability corporation that is still registered as an active entity in Virginia, and Leonard Leo has disclosed it as his employer. BH Group anonymously donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration four months after its formation. On November 7, 2022, Jonathan Bunch voluntarily filed articles of termination for the BH Fund and America Engaged with the Virginia State Corporation Commission.

Leonard Leo, President (BH Fund), Attorney/Partial Owner (BH Group)

Leonard Leo was “widely known as a confidant to Trump” and served as Trump’s Supreme Court Advisor during the nominations of Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, and Neil Gorsuch.

Leo has been called “arguably the most powerful figure in the federal justice system” with his “network of interlocking nonprofits” that aggressively support conservative judges. 

  • One of these nonprofits is the Federalist Society, which cultivates conservative judicial nominees in Leo’s fight to take over the courts. 
  • Leo operates a series of nonprofits that can move money without public scrutiny, such as the 85 Fund, America Engaged, and the Freedom and Opportunity Fund.

Leo has personal and professional ties to Justice Clarence Thomas, who is an original faculty member of the Federalist Society and a frequent speaker at the organization’s events. 

  • Thomas has hired Leo’s PR firm CRC Advisors to promote his memoir and a documentary about Thomas.

Jonathan Bunch, Treasurer/Secretary (BH Fund)

Jonathan Bunch is a former senior vice president at the Federalist Society who has been described as Leonard Leo’s “right-hand man.” Bunch has been involved in several Leo-linked entities; and is currently the president of CRC Advisors, a public relations consulting firm Leo founded in 2020. CRC Advisors grew out of CRC Strategies, a consulting firm that played a key role in supporting Leo’s efforts to influence the Supreme Court and federal judiciary.

From 2007 to 2008, Jonathan Bunch was the executive director of “Better Courts for Missouri,” a nonprofit organization that aimed to fundamentally alter the state’s merit-based judicial nomination process

  • Better Courts sought to replace Missouri’s selection method for state appeals court judges — called the Missouri Plan — where the governor appointed a nominee from a list curated by special judicial nominating committees. Judicial Crisis Network (JCN) proposed an inherently partisan system that would give the governor power to nominate any individual to the commission, subject to Senate confirmation. The group also spearheaded a ballot measure to allow the governor to appoint a majority of the commission’s members. 
  • The Missouri Bar Association and the judiciary overwhelmingly supported keeping the state’s existing judicial selection system, contending that “the process diminishes the politics behind selections.” 
  • Critics of Bunch’s group called their proposal “a GOP power grab,” to give the governor more power as “the state is getting redder and redder.” The president of the Missouri Bar said Better Courts’ proposal would “make partisan politics the heart and soul” of selecting judges.

Better Courts’ strategy reflects the Leo network’s typical playbook at the state level. In Iowa, JCN financed a 2018 campaign that advocated for giving partisan legislators the power to select members of the judicial nomination commission, “meaning politicians will choose every member.” 

  • Iowa’s existing system — where half of the commissioners were selected by the governor and half were elected by licensed lawyers — was meant to “emphasize legal experience while keeping politics at arm’s length.” 

The BH Fund was formed in January 2016 with two employees: Leonard Leo as president and Jonathan Bunch as treasurer. The BH Fund was dissolved on November 7, 2022, when the organization’s treasurer and secretary, Jonathan Bunch, voluntarily filed articles of termination with the Virginia State Corporation Commission.

However, while it was active, the BH Fund, along with the Freedom and Opportunity Fund and American Engaged, seemingly funneled millions between themselves and other Leo-connected groups. 

  • In the first year of these three nonprofits, they raised nearly $33 million, “with the BH Fund taking in $24,250,000 from a single donor whose identity is still not publicly known.” 
  • In the same year, the BH Fund sent $400,000 to the Freedom and Opportunity Fund, $2.3 million to America Engaged, and $200,000 to Donors Trust; and paid $400,000 to CRC Advisors, a public relations firm now helmed by Leo. In 2018, BH Fund sent America Engaged another $2 million, and in 2019 the organization sent $6 million to the Judicial Crisis Network, $5.5 million to Fidelity Charitable, a donor-advised fund similar to Donors Trust, and $520,000 to the Hispanic Leadership Fund.

BH Fund Was Used To Facilitate An Anonymous Donation To George Mason University In An Effort To Rename GMU’s Law School After The Late Antonin Scalia

Leo reportedly used the BH Fund and its related entities to hide a donation aimed at getting George Mason University (GMU) to rename its law school after Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Leo facilitated a $10 million donation from Charles Koch and funneled another $20 million to GMU through the BH Fund from Barre Seid.

  • George Mason University is also home to the Mercatus Center, a think tank with major Koch and conservative funding.
  • Barre Seid donated $20 million to George Mason University in order to rename its law school after the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Leonard Leo and Jonathan Bunch, a former Federalist Society vice president, managed Seid’s alleged donation via the BH Fund. The Koch family also contributed millions to the renaming effort. The donations and renaming effort were criticized, seen as an unprecedented expansion of the Federalist Society’s and Koch’s influence on the public university. 

The BH Group was formed in 2016 in Virginia, and the company’s Virginia business records do not list any staff. However, Leonard Leo is identified as an “authorized person” in a 2022 filing update with the Virginia State Corporation Commission regarding the organization’s registered agent.

The BH Group Employs Leo, A Private Firm He Partially Owns And Has Used To Pay For Other Groups’ Expenses

Leo listed the BH Group as his employer in a campaign finance filing. According to a 2018 IRS filing for the Rule of Law Trust (RLT), Leo owned more than 35% of the BH Group at the time.

  • In 2018, Rule of Law Trust reimbursed BH Group to the tune of $4,345,000— more than RLT spent in that year. Citizens for Ethics in Washington (CREW), a watchdog group, summarized the organization’s relationship, stating: “it appears that a firm partly owned by the sole trustee of RLT paid all of RLT’s expenses, including $1.8 million in consulting payments to two former Federalist Society associates who now work at a consulting firm founded by the trustee, and then RLT reimbursed that firm for the expenses.”

The BH Group Facilitated An Anonymous Million-Dollar Donation To Trump’s 2017 Inauguration

Four months after its creation; the BH Group donated $1 million to Trump’s 2017 inaugural committee in an apparent attempt to prevent disclosure of the true donor’s name.

Various Leonard Leo-Linked Entities Have Paid BH Group Over $15 Million For Contracting Work

Despite receiving large sums of money for contracted work from the other Leo-connected groups, the BH Group does not market itself as a public relations firm, nor does the group have any public presence. However, The BH Group has received over $15 million from other Leo-connected groups, including Rule of Law Trust, Judicial Crisis Network, 85 Fund, and Wellspring Committee, since its inception in 2016.

Leo-Network Group Name

Amount Paid To BH Group


Description Of Services/Notes 

Rule Of Law Trust $4,345,000.00 2018

“Reimbursed For Independent Contractor Expenses Incurred On Behalf Of Rule Of Law Trust BH Group LLC Received No Compensation […] $1,639,996 Were Prepayments For 2019 Independent Contractor Expenses” [Page 14]

Rule Of Law Trust $2,100,000.00 2019 “Reimbursed For Independent Contractor Expenses Incurred On Behalf Of Rule Of Law Trust BH Group LLC Received No Compensation [Page 21.]
Judicial Crisis Network $1,595,000.00 2019 Consulting
85 Fund (FKA Judicial Education Project) $1,352,340.00 2017 Consulting
Judicial Crisis Network $1,191,875.00 2018 Consulting
Judicial Crisis Network $947,000.00 2016 Consulting Services
85 Fund (FKA Judicial Education Project) $935,125.00 2019 Consulting
Wellspring Committee $919,900.00 2017 Consulting
Wellspring Committee $750,000.00 2016 Public Relations
85 Fund (FKA Judicial Education Project) $657,000.00 2018 Consulting
Judicial Crisis Network $241,000.00 2017


TOTAL: $15,034,240.00    

Holtzman Vogel 

BH Fund’s legal services contractor was Holtzman Vogel Josefiak Torchinsky, a boutique law firm that represents “some of the nation’s largest super PACs and their related nonprofits” on the conservative side, including American Crossroads, Americans for Prosperity, the Honest Elections Project, the Freedom and Opportunity Fund, and American Engaged among others. According to McClatchy, Holtzman Vogel “specializ[es] in creative legal maneuvers that allow donors to conservative causes to remain anonymous.”

RELATED ENTITIES: Marble Freedom Trust, America Engaged, And The Rule Of Law Trust

In 2022, it was revealed that a newly identified organization helmed by Leonard Leo, the Marble Freedom Trust, received a $1.6 billion donation from Chicago manufacturing magnate Barre Seid. In the Marble Freedom Trust’s tax filing revealing the donation, America Engaged, BH Fund, and the Rule of Law Trust were identified as “related entities.” 

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