Clinton Lawyer Under Fire After Disclosure That The Clinton Campaign Paid For Russian Dossier On Trump

download-6Clinton campaign lawyer Marc Elias is under fire today after the Washington Post ran an extensive story on how the Clinton Campaign and Democratic National Committee hired controversial research firm Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on Donald Trump in Russia in the “Russian Dossier” matter.  Reporters at the New York Times have accused Elias of lying in past categorical denials of any connection to Clinton or the DNC.  The reports indicate that not only did the Clinton team fund the opposition research but that Elias may have been the person handling much of the arrangements. Update: Brian Fallon, former spokesperson for the Clinton campaign, has said that this was “money well spent.” On CNN, Fallon said that the “sensitive nature” of the project meant that it was kept to a small number of people that did not include him. Fallon’s expression of satisfaction with the work however conflicts with what reporters say Elias told them. He notably sounded a lot like Trump in saying “opposition research occurs all the time.” Christoper Steele is a foreign national who was seeking information from foreign sources to use against Trump.

The reports indicate that the Clinton campaign and the DNC, through the law firm, continued to fund Fusion GPS all the way until just a few days before the election. Fusion GPS has stonewalled on questions over who funded it and key witnesses have invoked their Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination.

download-5According to the Post, Elias was representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC where he retained Fusion GPS and the dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer.  Elias is a partner at the Seattle-based Perkins Coie, a firm that received millions from the Clinton campaign.  The Clinton team gave Perkins Coie $5.6 million in legal fees from June 2015 to December 2016.

The story left some reporters irate and their ire is directed against Elias and Perkins Coie. New York Times reporter Ken Vogel went public and said that Elias  “vigorously” denied his involvement in the anti-Trump dossier: “When I tried to report this story. Clinton campaign lawyer [Marc Elias] pushed back vigorously, saying ‘You (or your sources) are wrong.’”

NYT reporter Maggie Haberman  wrote on Twitter and joined in on the criticism and accused the Clinton team of outright lies:  “Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year.”

If Elias and Perkins Coie lied to the media about the role of the Clinton campaign and the DNC in the affair, such allegations fall into a murky area of legal ethics.  Elias was clearly representing clients in this matter.  Attorneys are subject to a code of ethics that bars them from making false statements in representation. This is usually a matter of court filings or litigation, which have well-defined systems for addressing such misconduct.  Lying to the media is less defined but still covered by ethical rules.

While recognizing the duty of lawyers to defend their clients in the court of public opinion, the American Bar Association has repeatedly stressed that they can be disciplined for a variety of violations from making improper extrajudicial comments to violating prosecutorial limits to attacking judges.  One such limitation is found in Model Rule 8.4(c) which makes it improper for a lawyer to “engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.”  In this case, Elias not only allegedly actively participated in putting out false information to the public in a presidential election but hampered efforts to establish responsibility in a matter of great public significance.

Then there is Rule 4.1:

Transactions With Persons Other Than Clients
Rule 4.1 Truthfulness In Statements To Others

In the course of representing a client a lawyer shall not knowingly:

(a) make a false statement of material fact or law to a third person; or

(b) fail to disclose a material fact to a third person when disclosure is necessary to avoid assisting a criminal or fraudulent act by a client, unless disclosure is prohibited by Rule 1.6.

However, it is important to note that we have not heard a response from either Elias or Perkins Coie on these serious allegations.

The alleged denials by Elias also raise potential criminal risks if any false or misleading comments were made to federal or congressional investigators, though it is not clear if such interviews have occurred.

Elias has deep ties to Clinton and Democratic politics.  He still lists himself as general counsel to Hillary for America, the presidential campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton.  He previously served as general counsel in John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign.

Elias and Perkins Coie will now face some very serious questions going forward.  Elias already spoke to the media on the allegations and did not claim privilege.  This could also be fashioned as a possible criminal matter by investigators in negating privilege assertions.  However, Elias has already gone public on the alleged involvement of both the Clinton campaign and DNC in the dossier controversy.  It will be hard to get that cat to walk backwards.

223 thoughts on “Clinton Lawyer Under Fire After Disclosure That The Clinton Campaign Paid For Russian Dossier On Trump”

  1. This just keeps getting better:

    Aimen Mir was the CFIUS Staff Chairperson from 2009 until 2014. During Mir’s five years in the staff chairperson’s seat, CFIUS approved Russia’s 2010 purchase of Uranium One, effectively handing Vladimir Putin control of 20 percent of America’s uranium. Also during Mir’s term, the Treasury Department refused to conduct two legally-required CFIUS investigations of Port Canaveral’s 2014 container terminal lease concession to the UAE’s Gulftainer.

    1. Mueller was the FBI Chief back in 2010 when the whole uranium deal went down. He certainly appears to be part of that corrupt deal and the entire authorization giving Russia 20% of our uranium reserves.

      Plus Mueller is best pals with Comey who was FBI Chief when the FBI may have actually paid British national Steele who was retired MI5 Chief of the Russia desk, who got his fake dossier report from Russia.

  2. One has to wonder about the NYT claim that they dropped their investigation because this lawyer assured them their sources were wrong. Doesn’t say much for their commitment to investigative journalism. Would they have been so easily dissuaded from pursuing a similar story involving conservatives?

    1. The NYT is an extension of the DNC who retold fake stories supplied by Fusion and Podesta. Why wouldn’t they take their lawyers advice?

      1. Well that is true up to a point.
        Reporters, even biased ones, do not like to be lied to outright.
        A story can have only so much plausible deniability, until its plausibility completely runs out.
        That is what is happening here.

    2. Sierra, The NYTimes is a disingenuous reporter of facts. The myth that they use two or three legitimate sources has been proven to be a myth. They sell newspapers and they sell spin, lots of it.

  3. Let me get this straight. I might need a flow chart.

    When Mitt Romney said that the greatest threat was Russia, Obama told him the 1980’s wanted their foreign policy back. Clinton and Obama loved improving relations with Russia so much that Clinton had that cringeworthy Russian Reset Button moment. No, really, it was an actual red button like in Staples commercials. And she pushed it. On TV. She loved Russia so much that she sold 1/5 of our Uranium to Russia for $500,000 in speaking fees to Bill (double his usual rate), and $145 million to her foundation.

    They paid for a completely fabricated, debunked “dossier” put together by Russian operatives to slander Trump during his campaign.

    Without a shred of irony, they blasted Trump for being a Russian plant because his campaign merely took a meeting from a Russian lawyer offering opposition research.

    There have been no allegations that I am aware of that he actually used any Russian opposition research, but we know for a fact that Clinton did, and that the information was completely fabricated.

    So, Democrats, either accepting Russian opposition research is treason, or it’s not. The same reasoning must apply whether it’s Clinton or Trump. (Here’s a hint – opposition research is completely legal, but payments to foreign nations must be reported, and slander/libel is against the law.)

    Trump should sue the DNC and everyone involved in that dossier for slander, because they clearly did not verify its contents before releasing it.

    Also, since it’s been completely debunked, I would like an explanation from Maxine Waters and all the other Dems who claimed that more and more of the dossier was verified as true. No, no it was not. Quite the opposite, in fact. And yet, they told the American people that it was true.

    I have issues with some of Trump’s actions. He should seriously hand his Twitter account over to a staffer. But it is beyond the pale to claim that a President with a Jewish First Family is Anti-Semitic, a Neo Nazi, or KKK, or that he paid Russian prostitutes to pee on a bed. Is there absolutely no ethical standard anymore, and the excuse is that you just really don’t like him? I knew Jewish people who were scared to death because they literally thought that Trump was going to send out death vans when he got elected. This was not figurative, they literally thought they were going to die and it would be the next Jewish Holocaust. Why do you think people were crying and in hysterics after the election? People actually believed that Trump was a Neo Nazi. The media and politicians have to take some responsibility for what they tell naive people vulnerable to propaganda. Not everyone can reason out that a man with a Jewish family whom he loved and a great relationship with Netanyahu won’t kill the Jews. They were Progressives and had been too deeply conditioned to believe absolutely anything their party told them without question.

    We also need to emphasize critical reasoning in high school, without political bias. People need to have the basic tools to see through political shenanigans.

    1. As usual Karen S. you did a great job.

      “We also need to emphasize critical reasoning in high school,”

      We are not teaching critical reasoning. In fact the universities are running away from it.

    2. I agree.
      And to add to that hysteria of adults, what about the children!
      They were also told en mass by their duped parents that the end was neigh.

  4. “What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?”

    – Hillary Clinton

    1. Is this article Turley authored GOP “spin?” This article by Turley and the GOP version are closely aligned.

  5. Actually it’s Bob Muller’s job to figure out what’s true and false. And he will

    1. Ahh, the mellifluous tones of the voice of the artifice of “Affirmative Action Privilege” and generational welfare, zealously executing the duties of the Feminazi Gaystapo.

      Actually Mueller is a co-conspirator.

      1. I think she voted for Jill Stein, Allan.

        I hope I remembered correctly, Jill.

  6. Hillary, Obama, Flake, Corker – Career Politicians

    Donald Trump – Temporary Public Servant and Political Novice

    Which did the American Founders intend?

    “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”

    – Lord Acton

    1. They certainly didn’t intend an ill informed, incurious, sadistic narcissist and pathological liar who is violating the emoluments clause every day as he uses his office to enrich his family business and who cozies up to the world’s worst dictators. So I’d go with Obama, Clinton, Flake, and Corker.

      1. Looks like the Founders left the choice entirely to the voters and not to you, but then communists don’t allow the vote, do they? The Chinese communists just made Xi Jinping God and presumably everyone votes for God, right?

        1. George,
          Where the heck have you been? Please post often and forever! Stay healthy and stay here.

          Best wishes,

    2. Obama was a one-term Senator before being elected POTUS. Not exactly “career politician” stuff. Before that, he was in the Illinois state senate for a time.

      1. “Community Organizer”

        Straight out of the Communist handbook.

        Obongo is not only a “career politician,” he is a career anti-Colonialist, anti-American communist.

        That fraudulent, empty-suit imposter may have been ensconced by the “shadow government” but he will never, ever be eligible for the presidency of the United States because his father was a foreign citizen.

        “Natural Born Citizen”
        Law of Nations, 1758
        Book I, Ch. 19, Section 212

  7. Whether the infamous Dossier was funded by democrats, republicans, or the Easter Bunny — what matters to me is, how much of it can be verified? How much can be proven false? Having Trump call it “fake” does not constitute proof.

    1. what matters to me is, how much of it can be verified? How much can be proven false? Having Trump call it “fake” does not constitute proof.

      The pose of skepticism and empiricism followed by the assumption that its Trump’s job to ‘prove false’ every outlandish thing some sketchy character utters about him. You can’t help yourself.

      1. Actually it’s Bob Muller’s job to figure out what’s true and false. And he will

        1. ” Bob Mueller”? Well, aren’t we on intimate terms with the power elite?

          Notionally, that’s his job. In actuality, his probe is hopelessly tainted and it is so due to his misconduct. And the only truth that interests him are facts which serve his client’s interests. His client is, of course, the Establishment.

      2. In any event, Trump has claimed (on camera) that the Dossier is fake. Are we to take his statement at face value? I never said it was Trump’s “job” to prove everything false. And I am certainly not willing to concede that various accusations made against him and his colleagues are “outlandish” claims from “sketchy characters.” I am hoping that the FBI and special counsel will get to the bottom of this, as much as it is possible to get to the bottom of this.

        Speaking of sketchy characters, I wonder who those agents were that Trump supposedly dispatched to Hawaii way back when, to investigate Obama’s birth certificate ….. Never been named, no actual findings ever produced. Figments of DJT’s imagination ?

    2. Jay, ‘you raped your mother-in-law.’. That statement could be said by anyone even the Easter Bunny. ‘what matters to everyone is, how much of it can be verified? How much can be proven false? Having Jay call it “fake” does not constitute proof.’

      Jay, you are now asked to prove that statement false. Can you do it? You can say it is a lie or fake, but as you say that does not constitute proof.

      Can you see the problem with your statement that I changed from Trump to you? You and I know that statement was made up, but let’s say the NYTimes and Washington post said that they heard that from reliable sources. Would you believe it if the person they were talking about was Trump?

      1. Jay raped his mother-in-law? He should immediately remove himself from this blog and be registered as a sex offender. Proof to follow, right?

        1. You got it Olly, but does Jay get it? I don’t think so. Jay sounds like an ‘I want’ type of guy who doesn’t think of the implications of what his wants create.

          Therefore he should be treated accordingly and your penalties sound about right.

        2. My mother-in-law has been dead since 1977, so evidently I am accused of necrophilia ?

          1. We won’t argue with you Jay. If you say you are necrophiliac we will believe you.

          2. Jay S – either you did it before she died and the statute of limitations is up or it is necrophilia and hopefully the statute of limitations is up on that, too. 😉 Sorry about your mother-in-law. I am sure it was rough on your wife.

            1. MIL was a heavy smoker, and died in her sleep from (evidently) a heart attack or stroke. FIL awoke in the morning, next to a cold body. He couldn’t stand to be in that room, after that.

              1. Jay S – that is an understandable reaction by your FIL. Did he sell the house, or just move to another bedroom? I

    3. Proof that you’re wrong and how extremely relevant is the dossier’s author, is that HRC, Podesta, and the DNC en masse lied about who financed it. They lied because it’s illegal to pay foreigners like the Brit Steele (retired MI5 Russia desk agent), who paid Russia intelligence, for the lies comprising the dossier content. It’s illegal to use foreign agents to affect US election outcome. DID YOU JUST AWAKE FROM A COMA? THIS HAS BEEN THE DNC CLAIM AGAINST TRUMP EVERY DAY FOR THE LAST YEAR. THEY WERE JUST TALKING ABOUT THEMSELVES, NOT THE GOP AND TRUMP.

      You don’t have to worry whether it’s true, because Mueller has unlimited budget to discover the truth. Only a blind fool and/or DNC sycophant ignores the fact that the entire gestalt of the DNC has stopped claiming any Russian connection with Trump. Why? Because none exists.

  8. It’s hard to believe that some here are still trying to defend Clinton, the Dums and yes some Republicans involved perpetrating lies about President Trump.
    Let’s see if criminal charges will be made against these gangsters or are laws just for the average American.
    In my opinion this was a coup attempt. Where are you MSM now?

  9. The Russian Presidential Election coming up in May 2018 offers a superb opportunity for the US (Congress) to establish an Election-Non-Interference Standard that the US is committed to. This would be taken as a sign of global leadership, as say compared to endless partisan jockeying and handwringing over Russian interference in our 2016 election. The beauty of this approach is its acknowledgement of symmetry in foreign relations….we are willing to live under a common set of rules that restricts our interference in foreign elections, while protecting our process.

    Some of the areas to be covered:
    1. Distinctions between supporting fair and free elections and supporting a partisan side.
    2. Recognized non-partisan organizations to work through for free and fair elections.
    and commitment to work exclusively through recognized, non-partisan organizations to advance free and fair elections.

    3. Non-intereference of public officials via endorsements
    4. Non-interference of government through funding (direct or via proxies)
    5. Non-interference of clandestine govt. services (direct or via proxies)
    6. Non-interference of publishers and web-based services (neutrality in editorial, news selection, algorithmic decisions)
    7. Non-interference of diplomatic, military, central banking orgs (direct or via proxies)
    8. Non-interference of private US citizens (financial, business, media)
    9. USG bureau authorized to mediate claims of US interference
    10. Non-interference metrics to be evaluated by neutral, scientific-research methodologies.
    11. Desirability of each country publishing a “campaign season” duration, during which time non-interference
    self-monitoring is heightened.

  10. Now, some of us believe much of the Russia scare is a politically motivated effort to undermine the legitimacy of an election. Voting totals were never “hacked.” Not one vote was manipulated. Americans still possess free will. On the other hand, there’s no doubt Russia would love to instigate unrest in the United States. Democrats have been telling us this for a year. So those who automatically dismiss this inconvenient Fusion GPS story as irrelevant only reveal that they were never very serious about the Russian interference to begin with.

  11. That strategy had been set within twenty-four hours of her concession speech. Mook and Podesta assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.

    1. Olly,…
      A related issue is violations of the Foreign Agent Registration Act.
      Enforcement seems to be ( or at least has been) a joke.
      There have been recent examples of some who belatedly registered, after they were called on it ( violations).
      It’s one more issue that needs to be resolved to straighten this mess out so we don’t keep coming back to it in the future.

      1. IMO the biggest violator of the FAR is Israel, which government finances several pro-Israeli groups in the USA without having to register under the Act.

  12. Using foreign sources for opposition research is a dicey area.
    When the story broke about the meeting between Donald Trump Jr./ Kushner and the two Russians, it was made wasn’t considered “a nothing story”.
    Two former top campaign officials ( one Democrat, one Republican) were interviewed on the PBS Newshour about the use of foreign sources for opposition research.
    They stopped short of definatively saying that this was illegal, but both stressed that it was not acceptable, not common, and that anyone considering it should have a long talk with lawyers.
    This is especially true when the foreign source may not have the best interests of the U.S. at heart.
    Based on what I’ve read, I think that it is probably illegal to use foreign sources for opposition campaign research.
    By the time these investigations and possible prosecutions get wrapped up, we should have a clearer picture of “where the lines are” as far as what’s legal and what is illegal.
    Going forward, clarity about boundaries/ legality should be a vital part/ result of the investigations.
    In the meantime, we’ll continue to see comments like “this is nothing” or “a well regarded British spy” acted heroically when he was hired to to do opposition research ( research that they say selectively is entirely proper, or “nothing”, when it’s expedient to for them to do so).

    1. I like your approach, Tom, the rules for campaigning need to evolve as fast or faster than the campaign methodologies.

      I also see the need for a Rapid-Response Office of Campaign Integrity, situated in a non-political arm of government (DoJ?, FEC?). The RRO is the place where, in the heat of campaigning, any ethical or legally-questionable tactic is taken immediately for rapid-response. The mistake to be avoided is to allow questionable tactics to go unreported and unchallenged until after the election. We do not want the validity of elections questioned after the fact. We do not want FBI, DoJ and Special Prosecutors to become accepted parts of campaign tactics, or-post-campaign grievances. This means putting the spotlight on questionable practices IMMEDIATELY during the campaign, and having a ruling issued in under 24 hours, so that corrective action takes place without delay. Courts are too slow. We need a rapid-response capability that is completely non-partisan, and which keeps close relationship to the campaign legal staffs.

      1. pbinca – actually, for the most part, elections are cleaner today than they were 50 years ago and certainly 100 years ago. However, we have added TV, the internet, Twitter, smartphones, etc. to the whole panoply of things that a candidate has to master. American elections have always been messy. JFK stole the election from Nixon. Lyndon Johnson was famous for phantom districts voting for him. Some Southern Democrat accused his opponent of being a “flaming heterosexual” which was instantly misinterpreted as homosexual and the poor guy could not fight back. Of course, the “flaming heterosexual” lost.

        It is the messiness of the politics that makes us have to actually pick things apart and choose between candidates or issues. And that is the fun of it.

    1. Joseph Rago was awarded the Pulitzer prize for comprehensive articles critical of Obamacare. There is no documentation or other evidence that Rago was in poor health. Allegedly the related Russian pharmaceutical manufacturing facility on the border with Ukraine was going to produce drugs for mandatory purchase by Obamacare participants.


      Joseph Rago –

      “Wall Street Journal Reporter Asks Russia For “Clinton Information” —-Turns Up DEAD 2 Days Later”

      “A Wall Street Journal Editor who was investigating how a Russian
      Pharmaceutical firm could have been purchased in 2014 by an American
      Pharmaceutical firm while Sanctions against Russia existed against such
      business transactions, has been found dead in his New York City
      apartment. The crux of the dead journalists investigation was how
      then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton influenced the transaction to be
      finalized, but only AFTER her husband Bill was paid $500,000 for giving
      a speech in Moscow.

      The Russia Consulate General’s office in New York City was contacted
      by Wall Street Journal reporter/editor Joseph Rago who requested a
      Thursday (20 July) in person interview with consular officials regarding
      an upcoming article he was preparing on Hillary Clinton and her links
      to Russia. Rago failed to attend the meeting and was later discovered
      dead in his apartment of as yet “unknown causes” just hours prior to
      this meeting occurring.”

    2. Suicided or a staged armed street robbery in the wee hours of the morning.

      1. Yes, isn’t that the easiest thing to chemically induce with no trace of foul play?

    3. Agreed, 1000%. One or more likely multiples may have a nasty encounter with a motor vehicle, a nail gun, or possibly a shotgun to the back of the head declared a suicide as is the case with at least one of the Clinton’s old business associates when he was Governor and moving drugs for the CIA. Another noteworthy death of Clinton Crime Syndicates was 3 persons in a Starbucks. A gunman entered, ordered them to the back of the store, shot execution style, and no robbery.

      When you dine with the devil, bring a long fork.

  13. Dear Isaac and Natacha,
    How bad must it be for your “Team Progressive” to have your two biggest MSM mouthpieces (the NYT and Judaic Jeff Bezos’ WaPo) to be publishing the most damning hit pieces blaming your two demi-gods Jesus Obama and HRC for several major felony crimes?

    I only quickly scanned, but found no posts here. Wuzup, buddies? Does your RX increase hinder your posting lately? It’s alright, we understand your dilemma, dears!

    Re. your earlier cries for Russia investigations….we know neither of you are very bright, so here’s a new phrase to ponder: “Be careful what you wish for.”

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