“As a long-standing associate of the Clintons, Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe has long ties with the Democratic establishment. That history was placed into sharp relief this week when he made a hefty down payment on the services of former Clinton counsel Marc Elias. Elias is a critical figure in the ongoing Durham investigation and has been accused of lying to the media to hide the role of the Clinton campaign in funding the Steele dossier. His former law partner Michael Sussmann at Perkins Coie was recently indicted by Durham. Elias has also led efforts to challenge Democratic losses, even as he denounces Republicans for such election challenges. Elias has been sanctioned in past litigation.
Like Sussmann, Elias has left Perkins Coie. He ironically created a law firm specializing in campaign ethics. McAuliffe may be preparing to challenge any win by Republican Glenn Youngkin. He has given $53,680 to the Elias Law Group. McAuliffe does not appear disturbed by Elias’ highly controversial career or his possible exposure in the Durham investigation.
I previously described news accounts linking the firm and Elias to the dossier scandal:
Throughout the campaign, the Clinton campaign denied any involvement in the creation of the so-called Steele dossier’s allegations of Trump-Russia connections. However, weeks after the election, journalists discovered that the Clinton campaign hid payments for the dossier made to a research firm, Fusion GPS, as “legal fees” among the $5.6 million paid to the campaign’s law firm. New York Times reporter Ken Vogel said at the time that Clinton lawyer Marc Elias, with the law firm of Perkins Coie, denied involvement in the anti-Trump dossier. When Vogel tried to report the story, he said, Elias “pushed back vigorously, saying ‘You (or your sources) are wrong.’” Times reporter Maggie Haberman declared, “Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year.”
It was not just reporters who asked the Clinton campaign about its role in the Steele dossier. John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman, was questioned by Congress and denied categorically any contractual agreement with Fusion GPS. Sitting beside him was Elias, who reportedly said nothing to correct the misleading information given to Congress.
The Washington Post also reported that “Elias drew from funds that both the Clinton campaign and the DNC were paying Perkins Coie.”
That makes the choice of counsel astonishing given these allegations from reporters and McAuliffe’s previous assertion that “someone who lies about the little things will lie about the big things too.” (Read more: Jonathan Turley, 10/28/2021) (Archive)