by Anne Galloway and Colin Meyn
Private attorney and GOP activist Brady Toensing is leaving Vermont to take a senior counsel position with the U.S. Department of Justice. He starts work for the Office of Legal Policy Monday.
Toensing, 51, announced his resignation as vice chair of the Vermont Republican Party on May 23. An activist lawyer, advocate for open government and head of President Donald Trump’s Vermont campaign committee in 2016, Toensing has long been a thorn in the side of moderate Republicans, iconoclastic lefty U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and the Democratic establishment in Vermont…
Toensing won a landmark First Amendment case in 2018. The Vermont Supreme Court ruling set a new precedent making the private emails of officials pertaining to government business subject to public records requests. In that lawsuit, the Charlotte attorney represented the interests of the Free Market Environmental Law Clinic and the Energy and Environment Legal Institute, conservative groups funded by the Koch brothers, that were seeking information about a group of state attorneys general offices — including Vermont’s — investigating Exxon Mobil’s alleged early knowledge and longtime denials of climate change.