Terry McAuliffe Hires Controversial Ex-Clinton Lawyer Marc Elias

(MSNBC/via YouTube)

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.”

Elias also was the subject of intense criticism after a tweet that some have called inherently racist. Democrats used the recent Georgia election law as a rallying cry for federalizing elections by labelling the law, as described by President Biden, “Jim Crow on steroids.” Biden has been repeatedly called out for demonstrably false statements about the law.  Elias argued that Georgia voters could not be expected to be able to read their driver’s licenses correctly — a statement that seemed to refer to minority voters who would be disproportionately impacted by such a requirement.

Elias’ work embodies the inherent hypocrisy of some advocates and some in the media on election challenges. He often solicits contributions to challenge election results while denouncing Republicans for challenging election results.

That contradiction has been readily apparent in the Virginia election. McAuliffe brought in Stacey Abrams to campaign for him. She has repeatedly declared that the Republicans stole the election when she ran in Georgia. (Abrams was criticized for not conceding after the election).  At one rally, McAuliffe repeated the claim that “she [Abrams] would be the governor of Georgia today had the governor of Georgia [Republican Brian Kemp] not disenfranchised 1.4 million Georgia voters before the election! That’s what happened to Stacey Abrams. They took the votes away.”

Elias, McAuliffe, and others the media have denounced Republican challenges as advancing “the Big Lie” of stolen or rigged voting in the last election. Yet, Abrams’ defeat is being attributed to a rigged system in Georgia.

Elias has not been criminally charged in his actions related to the 2020 election. Yet, bringing Elias into the Virginia race in the midst of the Durham investigation is an astonishing decision by McAuliffe. There are a host of election lawyers but McAuliffe selected an attorney accused of lying to the media, advancing rejected conspiracy theories, and currently involved in a major federal investigation that has already led to the indictment of his former partner.

Then again McAuliffe previously declared “You help me, I’ll help you. That’s politics.”

121 thoughts on “Terry McAuliffe Hires Controversial Ex-Clinton Lawyer Marc Elias”

  1. Turley is such a pris. Oh, I’m just so shocked the lowlife running for governor would hire a lowest common denominator like Elias. If Turley needs to man up and write the only reason to hire Elias is in preparation for some election legerdemain. Period.

  2. “County sheriff in Wisconsin reveals evidence of felony election law violations

    “Election statute was in fact not just broken, but shattered by members of the Wisconsin Elections Commission,” said the Racine County sheriff, referring to evidence that absentee votes were cast on behalf of cognitively impaired nursing home residents.”


    Some keep insisting there is no reason to suspect lawlessness voting.

    1. Alan, here’s local coverage from Racine. The issue concerns 8 seniors at an Assisted Living Facility and Mail-In Ballots they signed. But no evidence yet points to Democrats as the wrongdoers. There’s a 50-50 chance the seniors voted Republican.


      1. PC, we know that many rules were violated this past election. Some broke state constitutions. That makes the voting lawless. It adds credibility to much of what Trump has said.

        If you want to claim Republican lawlessness, that is fine with me, but the places where the lawlessness seems to have been most aggressive were in Democrat strongholds. In this post I didn’t mention party. Say hello to Ethan Edwards and Joe Starrett for me.

  3. Trump’s Letter To Wall Street Journal Illustrates Nothing Has Changed Since January 6th

    On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal published a letter written by former president Donald Trump in which he makes a number of claims about the results of the 2020 election in Pennsylvania. Below, the 14 things you need to know about the letter.

    Edited from:


    Trump continues promoting blatantly false election claims as detailed in this piece. So nothing has changed since January 6th. The coup attempt remains a very active threat which undermines America’s global position.

    On paper the U.S. is a military and economic superpower. But the fragility of our political system is like an open sore visible to the world. Donald Trump has exposed every weakness in our system with devastating effectiveness.

    Therefore Christopher Steele should be commended for sounding the alarm with regards to the Trump menace. Though realistically I believe that Steele’s real concern was the entire western alliance. He was acting out of patriotism to Great Britain, America’s longtime strategic partner.

    1. And you rely on the Washington Post as a neutral arbiter and reporter of all facts relevant?

    2. The Washington Post, a center of fake news and proven so over and over again. The only question is, is Alex Jones right more than the Washington Post?

    3. I can’t imagine the dosage of lithium or xanax or whatever necessary to actually believe that crap, any of it.

      1. “I can’t imagine the dosage of lithium or xanax or whatever necessary to actually believe that crap, any of it.”

        Hopefully your doses of Xanax are now low enough that you can handle what was said. Let’s take the statements one by one.

        “71,893 mail-in ballots were returned after Nov. 3, 2020, at 8 p.m., according to Audit the Vote PA. None of these should have been counted according to the U.S. Constitution and the state Legislature, which didn’t approve this change.”

        Is that statement incorrect?

  4. “Elias has been sanctioned in past litigation.” For a judge to sanction an attorney, he must have pulled some really shady stuff. Especially a lawyer so well-connected. They usually get away with all kinds of shenanigans. And yet, here we are. The bell of the ball. The darling of the media. God help us all.


      Manuel Lopez writes that Elias is a “darling of the media”.

      Manuel, in terms of name recognition, I doubt if more than 10% of mainstream media consumers could correctly identify Mr Elias. So this claim that he’s a mainstream media “darling” reveals that you are completely estranged from mainstream media.

      1. I smile again at your comments. Perhaps, indeed, you may be “estranged” from mainstream politeness and true, meaningful debate on the merits. The name of marc elias was quite well-covered and repeated in national media –in connection with the nameless “whistleblower” and his communications with Adam Schiff. Do you remember that?

        1. Well played!


          “Someone Just Played A Hilarious ‘Simpsons’ Prank On A Virginia School Board

          ….some of the names submitted for public comment at a school board meeting in Henrico County, Virginia……. included the naughtily named Phil McCracken, Eileen Dover and Wayne Kuhr. Other names of those who supposedly requested public comment included Suk Mahdik, Ophelia McCaulk and Don Kedick.”

        2. Anonymous vs. Anonymous

          Spy vs. Spy

          Great Stuff!!!

          Pay attention, ladies, Elias et al. are perpetrating the Obama Coup D’etat in America, and that’s not a good thing, or a legal thing. John “Dudley Do-Right” Durham will inform you of that soon enough, if the patriotic FBI, CIA, NSA, DNI, DHS, FEMA, ICE, DEA, TSA, ATF, etc., don’t redirect him or take him off mission entirely.

      2. Mr. Shill, why do you use Anonymous as your nom de déguisement?

        Oh, I get that.

        You’re fooling everyone.

        My bad.

    2. And yet, here we are. The bell of the ball. The darling of the media.

      Southern Belle that is, which is why McAwful has hired Elias, to ensure that Democrats continue their planation ownership in Ol’ Dominion!

      1. Estovir, you used all this language in your post by ‘Manuel Lopez’. Do you not keep track of what you’ve written under alternate names??

  5. “…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.”

    – Professor Turley

    “Ay, now the Plot thickens very much upon us.”

    – George Villiers, The Rehearsal, 1671

  6. OT

    Darren, with reference to your previous comment below, would you be so good as to explain how Kamala Harris, a “citizen” by birth, is transformed into a “natural born citizen” by U.S. v. Won Kim Ark, (dissent by three Justices) or by any other official act, understanding that the requirement for Congress and the Senate is simple “citizen” while the requirement for president and vice president is the several, greater and superior status of “natural born citizen?” * Also, is it your understanding that the judicial branch has the power, any power, to amend the U.S. Constitution, by any means?

    Thank you.

    “It might be helpful to consider that Vice President Harris was born in Oakland, CA. Her parents were not granted diplomatic immunity at the time of her birth nor were they part of the diplomatic corps of any foreign government. Therefore according to United States v. Won Kim Ark’s interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment, she is a citizen of the United States and eligible to hold the presidency in so far as the citizenship requirement is concerned, should that position become available to her.”

    – Darren


    Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5

    No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States.

  7. Elias, McAuliffe, and others the media have denounced Republican challenges as advancing “the Big Lie” of stolen or rigged voting in the last election.

    Virginia is for lovers rigged elections.

    Last year, Virginia’s Democrat Governor, Ralph Black Face Northam, signed legislation, passed by the newly elected Democrat majority in the legislature, new laws that repealed Virginia’s Voter ID Law, made Election Day a state holiday, and expanded early voting to 45 days before an election without a stated excuse.


    The tension in Richmond since 2020 has been thick thanks to BLM ANTIFA rioting, looting and soaring violent crime. With Nov 2 being a state holiday, and the likelihood that McAuliffe will lose and hence, contest the election results, we are bracing for more of the same in Richmond: violence. Police no longer respond to calls when residents report gunshots at night. We have called numerous times with no shows from police.

    Then there is this:

    (Richmond Police Chief Gerard) Smith didn’t say exactly why officers were leaving the department, but added that staffing shortages are an issue nationwide. Smith told the committee that there were currently 102 vacancies within the department, with an additional 70 officers unavailable while on military, medical or administrative leave. That accounts for more than 20% of the department’s authorized strength.


    Hiring Elias makes all the sense in the world. It’s not like there’s a college yearbook photo of him in blackface.

  8. So Turley now writes about “controversial” lawyers, one must wonder where he has been in the on-going train wreck of Trump lawyers that poured out of their clown car. And lasted checked, Mr. Elias is not under review from the ABA. The same cannot be said for all of the Trump lawyers like Rudy G, Sidney Powell, and others that have to defend themselves for their actions.

    1. Excellent point, Fish Wings. And long before Giuliani and Powell, Trump retained Michael Cohen. In fact, one could almost conclude that being totally unethical is a requirement to being Trump’s lawyer.

      1. Right on the nose……..”Unethical is a requirement being Trump’s lawyers”

      1. Just as no doctor’s license is suspended by the AMA. The ABA and AMA are private associations like the Elks, but likely with more booze and less bowling but equal relevance.

  9. Only Republicans Care About Steele Dossier

    Professor Turley seems to think readers should froth at the mouth with every reference to the Steele Dossier. But January 6th confirmed that Trump is either a Putin stooge or common traitor. Whatever his status, Trump confirmed the worst fears of Christopher Steele. Therefore the Steele Dossier is not something Democrats need to wring their hands about.

    1. Whatever his status, Trump confirmed the worst fears of Christopher Steele.

      That was the point, Paint Chips. Durham however is confirming the worst facts. Democrats may not care about the Steele dossier, but the dossier cares about the Democrats.

      1. Obese Olly, we now know Trump is a traitor, so whatever flaws the Steele Dossier may have had, it no longer matters. Steele was essentially right about Trump and most Americans know that.

        1. Paint Chips, you have only gotten nuttier. Trump didn’t deal with the Russians and sell America down the drain. Biden did that with Russia, China and elsewhere. You really have to catch up on your reading skills.

    2. Anonymous

      (Whichever one you are), you take today’s prize for most stupid comment.

    1. Darren, the perils of A.I. are apparent in these Facebook revelations. In many countries Facebook lacks moderators fluent in the local language. Consequently the algorithms have whipped up social and ethnic strife.

      1. Yet even when the moderators are [presumptively] dealing with their native language, they still manage to elicit the same results.

      2. Consequently the algorithms have whipped up social and ethnic strife.
        Facebook memos show they designed their algorithms to create the strife. Strife causes like, and reposts, and comments. All metrics that drive clicks and generates Advertising revenue.
        Follow the money

    2. Tempting to wonder but I think I’ll still go with a fellow human than the impersonal cold calculations of a machine.

      1. Rose says:

        “ Tempting to wonder but I think I’ll still go with a fellow human than the impersonal cold calculations of a machine.”

        I’d prefer a robot over a Trumpist. Machines are incapable of hating and can’t kill on their own unless utilized by a hater. Computers are rational, logical and can’t lie.

    3. “You have to wonder if our country would be better governed by robots.”

      Not far off. Didn’t Milton Friedman suggest our monetary policy be governed by a computer program?

    4. Sometimes I think that the country would be much better off entirely ungoverned.
      Perhaps a system could be introduced where all politicians, upon election, are immediately jailed to save time.
      Alternatively, put taxi drivers up as candidates. I have heard more wisdom from random taxi drivers than from the vast majority of politicians.

  10. “Terry McAuliffe Hires Controversial Ex-Clinton Lawyer Marc Elias”

    I guess McAuliffe knows he is going to lose, so he is preparing to cheat.

  11. Nothing short of incarceration will stop them and we all know that’s unlikely.

    1. The bigger story is the Virginia Lieutenant Governor Candidate, Winsome Sears, a female, immigrant, black Republican.

      Va. lieutenant governor candidate Winsome Sears: ‘I am still the immigrant’

      Winsome Sears, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor in Virginia, points to her experience on the commonwealth’s board of education and her time in the House of Delegates, where she was the first — and so far still the only — Black Republican woman member.


      1. It’s Decades past time for the US/States to stop with all this @#^*… Discriminatory Policies of bringing in more Blacks or Hispanics, Green Aliens etc., have Teats, Queer, XYZ, etc., as if that some how makes them more fit/qualified then others.

        And if most anyone has had anything to do with this current ph’d education system the last 4 decades they definitely need to be viewed with doubt until thoroughly checked out.

        Who in the hell would knowingly pick the bottom of the class to do a major surgery on them, be a leader in govt, etc.?

  12. Speaking of controversial, yet another racist professor went on an expletive riddled rant suggesting they should “take out” all white people.

    Are parents scrimping and saving for years just to send their children to be taught by out and proud racists with homicidal maniacal fantasies?

    She’s like a black Richard Spencer.

    “Rutgers Assoc. Professor Rages Against White People” Dailywire.com

    1. And reading her rant, one is appalled at the ignorance and absence of historical facts. I mean, these people literally make things up and pass them off as history!

  13. There is some senator named Enema. She’s a sinner so she added the sin word to her born name. When London Bridge was falling down she moved to Arizona. And I know why. She was from down south and when she opened her mouth, someone always put a foot there.
    Congress can’t get nuttin done with Mancini and Enema. Mancini was born with that WOP name and altered it to Mancin. Jumping Joe is name and he rode off with Robert E. Lee.

    1. Let’s turn the tables and see if you are as racist and bigoted with your comments and insinuations…

      Instead of the State of West Virginia where Biden did not win a single county and lost by 40 points, we have California or Vermont or a Congressional District in Portland/Seattle. A Republican senator or congressperson is elected from theses bluest of blue district’s. supports and hold’s out for Progressive/Socialist positions AGAINST the wishes of the Conservatives. Do you think the progressive republican would lose the next election or continue to be elected in a district where a republican should not have a chance?

      Manchin just happens to not be a socialist and is what passes for a moderate Democrat.

    2. Liberty2nd — you win today’s award for the biggest and most ignorant bigot on this thread.

  14. Who’da thunk it? Well, for starters, the Clinton witch still “thunks” it about her stolen fixed election of 2016. She knew she was a shoo-in because the powers that be assured her they’ve got the fix in the bag. Sadly for her, their algorithms were a bit too conservative. Deplorably so!

  15. Mendacity has always been endemic to both political parties, but recently the Democrats have exceeded previous norms.

    Posters here always trot out their childish “But Trump…”.

    That ignores the corruption at every level of the Democratic machine: the MSM, the professional bureaucrats, and the politicians.

    Democrats are destroying our institutions.

    1. Mendacity has always been endemic to both political parties, but recently the Democrats have exceeded previous norms. — monumentcolorado

      We agree.

    2. Monument says:

      “Democrats are destroying our institutions.”

      Trumpists are going to round up the Left and ship us off to Concentration Camps.

      1. “Trumpists are going to round up the Left and ship us off to Concentration Camps.”

        This guy Jeff is crazy. Biden places the rights of illegal aliens above the rights of American citizens and then reverses things to blame Trump. Can anyone defend what Jeff is saying? It doesn’t seem so. Even the craziest on this blog are going to have trouble with this latest absurd statement.

        1. If MonumentColorado is going to make the ABSURD accusation that “Democrats are destroying our institutions,” I am going to push back with an equally ABSURD accusation. Tit for tat.

          Two can play that game.

          1. Glenn Greenwald did an excellent video on Rumble – using Data from Pew and other sources demonstrating that over the past decade democrats and republicans have diverged significantly on a number of issues.

            Most of us grasp that.

            But Greenwald looked specifically at issues that identify authoritarianism and found BOTH that Democrats have become significantly MORE authoritarian, and republicans have become significantly less.

            Though most of us do not need pew polling data to tell what is self evident and right in our faces.

            Maybe you are correct – and somehow increasingly authoritarian democrats will manage to avoid the mistakes that other authoritarians have made and will not recreate Cuba or the USSR or Venezeula.

            But I would not bet on it.

        2. Jeff is no crazier than most on the left.

          Progressivism is a religious ideology, it has no problems with impossible internal self contradiction.

          US Citizen’s must wear masks. Illegal immigrants need not.

          US Citizens must get vaccinated – Illegal immigrants need not even get tested.

          US Citizens have no rights – Illegal immigrants have rights.

          and on and on and on.

          We see crazy illogical nonsense from the left all the time.

          The “Collusion Delusion” story made zero sense from the beginning.
          Rational people would have asked serious questions.
          But the left sold it to much of the country.

          This is one of the huge issues regarding the FBI and DOJ – through Mueller even.

          Were FBI Agents so stupid that they did not question the idiocy being sold to them ?
          Or so biased that they did not care whether it was true ?

          Neither is a good fit.

  16. Elias’s groundwork set-up the 2020 theft. His maneuvering assured any audits would be difficult and untimely. The mostly unlegislated procedures were implemented to exploit, and the analytics make clear they were. Here’s a prayer for this corrupt, win-at-all-cost man’s prosecution.

  17. These people are pathological. Of course they’re going to pump the big lie, because they know Durham is hunting the MOAL. The Mother of All Lies.

  18. Elias, McAuliffe, and other the media have denounced Republican challenges as advancing “the Big Lie” of stolen or rigged voting in the last election. Yet, Abrams’ defeated is being attributed to a rigged system in Georgia. — JTurley

    Hypocrisy in partisan politics… Who’da thunk it.

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