Nikki Haley: The Dragon Slayer

SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is in the process of filing a lawsuit against New York Attorney General Letitia James for allegedly leaking to the press a list of donors to her nonprofit Stand for America.

Last week Haley released the findings of the New York Freedom of Information Act request she filed late last month with James’s office.

Haley’s team requested records of all Freedom of Information Act requests about Stand for America from Jan. 1, 2019, to the present. James’ office responded, “Please be advised that the Office of the Attorney General has conducted a diligent search and has located no records that respond to your request.”

The attorney general’s answer raises more questions than answers and leaves open the possibility that the attorney general’s office illegally sent donor data or emailed it via unofficial emails, then leaked it to Documented, the watchdog group that gave Haley’s donor list to Politico.

On Sept. 20, Haley sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland demanding that the Department of Justice investigate the illegal delivery, receipt and public disclosure of a list of the identities of donors to Stand for America. “These illicit acts are subject to criminal penalties, and it is your duty to launch an inquiry, follow the facts wherever they lead, and prosecute,” she wrote. Haley added that once Garland’s office has concluded its investigation, it should prosecute all those responsible to the fullest extent permitted by law.

The materials, which contained donor names — all influential men and women in the conservative movement — were leaked in August to Politico in a chilling act of intimidation against conservative political speech. Haley, a Republican, has been an outspoken critic of New York’s no-bail laws and believes this is an instance of retaliation.

Haley launched Stand for America after leaving the Trump administration in 2019. In an interview with the Washington Examiner while she was campaigning with Pennsylvania Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz in Delaware County, Haley said that when she was first contacted by Politico about the donor list, she was stunned by the outlet’s access to something that was supposed to remain private. “They say they have it,” she said. “We say, ‘Show it to us.’ They send it to us and, look at the back page, it’s stamped by the New York State Attorney General’s Office.”

“This is how liberals behave,” she added. “Once again, they were upset that I was calling out what was going on in New York state, and they are upset that I’m calling out Biden for his failings, and they are trying to intimidate conservatives to be silent or hide in the shadows. We’re not going to let it happen. We’re suing the New York state attorney general, and I am going to Merrick Garland and saying, ‘You need to investigate what happened, and you owe us an answer on this, and we’re going to keep on fighting through this.’”

“Republicans have been too nice for too long,” she said. “At the end of the day, there’s no time to whine and complain about this. This is time to fight, and we go back, and we’re going to hold her accountable.”

Haley said she is not going to back down in demanding answers for that as well — not just for herself, but for all the conservative groups and conservatives whose private information has been illegally leaked by government officials as a form of political punishment.

“These disclosures aren’t just meant to intimidate people,” she said. “They are a violation of federal and state law, and I am not just going to stand aside any longer as liberals use government power as a weapon against conservatives.”

Haley is a true dragon slayer. When she was wrongly accused by “The View” host Sunny Hostin for being a ‘chameleon’ for not using her Indian first name, Haley shot back, saying, “Nikki is my name. It is on my birth certificate. It is an Indian name, and I embrace my Indian heritage. I have written two books that describe the struggles that my family had, what it was like growing up.”

“It’s not the first time, and it won’t be the last time that the hosts of ‘The View’ come after me or that liberals come after me in… whatever way,” Haley said. ‘They can’t stand the fact that a minority female would be a conservative Republican.”

Salena Zito is a staff reporter and columnist for the Washington Examiner.