A person or persons operating from within an O'Melveny & Myers' office attempted to erase evidence of its links to Donald Trump, RollOnFriday can reveal, as the US firm sought to seal its merger with Allen & Overy.
On 18 July 2019, someone from within O'Melveny's Los Angeles office demanded Wikipedia remove all references to the firm's support for the Trump administration from its Wikipedia page.
"This is misleading", the unidentified person said about the section titled, "Support for the Trump Administration".
"O'Melveny & Myers LLP did not publicly support any one candidate during the presidential campaign", claimed the person, "and instead, employees supported many different candidates."
"Furthermore", they claimed, "O'Melveny & Myers LLP was not involved in vetting President Trump's nominees. Instead, an ex-partner at O'Melveny was responsible for the vetting independent of his relationship to O'Melveny. To claim that O'Melveny & Myers LLP has shown 'Support for the Trum [sic] administration' is subjective, false and misleading, and should be removed."
The demand was made on 18 July, a day after the President appeared to revel in chants of "send her back" at a political rally, and four days after Trump stoked racial tensions by telling four Congresswomen of colour to "go back".
Back left looks guilty.
Wikipedia's editors partly acquiesced. They moved the offending text to the history section of O'Melveny's page and removed the title, "Support for the Trump administration". However, they did not delete or alter the rest of the text, and refuted claims that the content was untrue by citing several sources which showed that O'Melveny partners were still at the firm when they vetted Trump's nominees.
"Contrary to what 126.96.36.199 wrote (from an O'Melveny & Myers IP address), Arthur Culvahouse was not an 'ex-partner' at the time he and other attorneys from O'Melveny & Myers vetted the President's nominees", noted a Wikipedia editor in the site's editing section.
The attempt to scrub evidence that O'Melveny worked for Trump comes at a sensitive time for the firm, which is trying to secure a merger with Allen & Overy.
It has been a long time in the works. RollOnFriday asked O'Melveny if de-Trumpifying its brand was A&O 's last pre-condition for joining forces.
A spokesman for O'Melveny said, "the firm neither authorizes, nor condones, any efforts to alter the O’Melveny Wikipedia page. Our firm is home to many lawyers and staff with varying political opinions and activities. It’s one of our strengths, and we’re proud that members of the firm have been called to service in the Administrations of both parties".
Wikipedia editors are now prohibited from amending the firm's page without the site's approval. O'Melveny's page status has been set to "Protected", due to "Persistent disruptive editing".