FEC Fines the Clinton Campaign and DNC for Conduct Related to Steele Dossier

(MSNBC/via YouTube)

We have previously discussed allegations that Marc Elias, the former general counsel for the Clinton Campaign and partner at the firm Perkins Coie, lied to conceal the campaign’s funding of the infamous Steele Dossier. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has now fined the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign for violating election rules in hiding that funding. Elias has previously been sanctioned for his conduct in litigation and recently lost an effort to gerrymander the Maryland voting districts.  The alleged Elias’ lies would ordinarily seem a professional liability for any attorney but they seem an actual professional attraction for Elias.

On March 29, the FEC imposed a relatively small fine of $8,000 for Clinton and $105,000 for the DNC. However, it is the basis rather than the size of the fine that is so notable.

The FEC found that Clinton campaign and DNC payments to Fusion GPS were funneled through Perkins Coie and Elias. As the campaign denied funding the dossier, these payments were concealed as “legal advice and services.” The FEC said the law firm, Perkins Coie, paid Fusion $1,024,407.97 for the dossier in 2016.

Elias has featured prominently in the filings of Special Counsel John Durham. The key to many of these operations is someone referred to by Durham as “Campaign Lawyer-1,” who is now known to be Elias. Elias was called before the grand jury.

It was Elias who made the key funding available to Fusion GPS, which in turn enlisted Steele to produce his now discredited dossier on Trump and his campaign.

During the campaign, a few reporters did ask about the possible connection to the campaign, but Clinton campaign officials denied any involvement. It was only weeks after the election that journalists discovered that the Clinton campaign hid payments for the Steele dossier as “legal fees” among the $5.6 million paid to Perkins Coie.

New York Times reporter Ken Vogel said at the time that Elias 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.”

Elias’ former partner, Michael Sussmann, has been indicted by Durham.

It is not known if Elias is a target for possible indictment.

Democrats continue to hire Elias despite his checkered past. Elias has unsuccessfully led efforts to challenge Democratic losses.  Elias has been sanctioned in past litigation.

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 was back in the news on another defeat in court last week. He filed in support of an abusive gerrymandering of the election districts in Maryland that a court found violated not only violated Maryland law but the state constitution’s equal protection, free speech and free elections clauses. The court found that the map pushed by Elias “subverts the will of those governed.”

Elias has been accused of making millions from gerrymandering and challenging election victories by Republicans (while condemning such actions by Republicans as “anti-Democratic”). He was involved in the New York redistricting that was ridiculed as not only ignoring the express will of the voters to end such gerrymandering but effectively negating the votes of Republican voters.

It is clear that none of these controversies will alter Elias’ conduct or such tactics. Indeed, they appear to be a draw from some Democrats and the media. CNN recently asked Elias “what should we be doing differently” in covering elections. He chastised the media for not having enough of a a “pro-democracy slant,” which appears to mean a more Democratic slant.

After the FEC fine, DNC spokesman Daniel Wessel called the complaints over their hiding the funding of the dossier (and public denials before the election) are “silly.”

It has been a bad week for Elias, but these headlines only seem a draw for some in Democrats that Elias is the precisely the type of attorney that they want in case pursuing gerrymandering and election challenges.


94 thoughts on “FEC Fines the Clinton Campaign and DNC for Conduct Related to Steele Dossier”

  1. Obviously the FEC has succumbed to “Russian disinformation”. Ain’t that dandy…


    According to Merriam Webster, the participation of Hillary Clinton et al. in the Obama Coup D’etat in America constitutes subversion and treason.

    At a minimum, according the the U.S. Code, it is against the law to interfere with official duties.

    18 U.S. Code § 111

    “Whoever forcibly assaults, resists, opposes, impedes, intimidates, or interferes with any person designated in section 1114 of this title while engaged in or on account of the performance of his official duties, shall be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

    subvert verb

    sub·​vert | \ səb-ˈvərt

    Definition of subvert

    transitive verb

    1 : to overturn or overthrow from the foundation : ruin

    2 : to pervert or corrupt by an undermining of morals, allegiance, or faith

    treason noun

    trea·​son | \ ˈtrē-zᵊn
    Definition of treason

    1 : the offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance or to kill or personally injure the sovereign or the sovereign’s family

    2 : the betrayal of a trust : treachery

    – Merriam Webster

    The Obama Coup D’etat in America is the most egregious abuse of power and the most prodigious crime in American political history.

    The co-conspirators are:

    Kevin Clinesmith, Bill Taylor, Eric Ciaramella, Rosenstein, Mueller/Team, Andrew Weissmann,

    James Comey, Christopher Wray, McCabe, Strozk, Page, Laycock, Kadzic, Sally Yates,

    James Baker, Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, Priestap, Kortan, Campbell, Sir Richard Dearlove,

    Christopher Steele, Simpson, Joseph Mifsud, Alexander Downer, Stefan “The Walrus” Halper,

    Azra Turk, Kerry, Hillary, Huma, Mills, Brennan, Gina Haspel, Clapper, Lerner, Farkas, Power,

    Lynch, Rice, Jarrett, Holder, Brazile, Sessions (patsy), Nadler, Schiff, Pelosi, Obama,

    Joe Biden, James E. Boasberg, Emmet Sullivan, Gen. Milley, George Soros, John McCain,

    Marc Elias, Igor Danchenko, Fiona Hill, Charles H. Dolan, Jake Sullivan, Strobe Talbot,

    Cody Shear, Victoria Nuland, Ray “Red Hat” Epps, Don Berlin, Kathy Ruemmler, Rodney Joffe,

    Paul Vixie, L. Jean Camp, Andrew Whitney et al.

    “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

    – Barack Obama

    “We will stop him.”

    – Peter Strzok to FBI paramour Lisa Page

    “[Obama] wants to know everything we’re doing.”

    – Lisa Page to FBI paramour Peter Strzok

    “[We gave you] a [restricted-vote] republic, if you can keep it.”

    – Ben Franklin

    “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

    – Declaration of Independence, 1776

  3. All this corruption is released regularly now and little to nothing is done to the conspirators. This fabrication was the basis an impeachment was launched against a legally elected President who had committed no wrong. If nothing of substance is done to these people and organizations how can this nation move forward believing Justice for All? The same group is still trying to cause harm to this man with more fabrications. With all that is being revealed how can anyone rationally believe the last election was legit? Consider the level of confidence they feel and the danger we’re all in? What can we expect from these people in the coming election?

      1. In British history, “treason” meant whatever the authorities wanted treason to mean, including broadcasting – perhaps free press and speech.

        Lord Haw Haw – William Joyce

        Lord Haw-Haw was a nickname applied to William Joyce, who broadcast Nazi propaganda to the UK from Germany during the Second World War. The broadcasts opened with “Germany calling, Germany calling”, spoken in an affected upper-class English accent.

        William Joyce was captured by British forces in northern Germany just as the war ended,[22] tried, and eventually hanged for treason on 3 January 1946.[23] Joyce’s defence team, appointed by the court, argued that, as an American citizen and naturalised German, Joyce could not be convicted of treason against the British Crown. However, the prosecution successfully argued that, since he had lied about his nationality to obtain a British passport and voted in Britain, Joyce owed allegiance to the king.

        – Wiki

        On January 3, 1946, William “Lord Haw-Haw” Joyce was hanged, and his body buried in an unmarked grave on the grounds of the prison where he was held. In 1976, his daughter petitioned to have the body exhumed and interred in his once-home of Bohermore, Galway, Ireland, where his grave remains today.

        – National WWII Museum

      2. “They didn’t commit treason.”

        So what? They lied, and the lies worked. Hang them first. Try them later. That is pretty much what they did. Where is there punishment equal to the crime they committed or right-wingers committed on Jan 6?

        Lying is your behavior. You only care about the law when it works for you. At all other times, you lie.

        It is an interesting question. When does the right decide that following the law doesn’t work?

  4. Have heard so much about how Marc Elias was the architect of the steal, yet have seen or heard no sign that he will be held accountable for his crime.

  5. Juicy Smollet’s fine was almost that large and he didn’t do as much damage.

  6. The Press is the criminal as well. For 4 years they trumpeted lies, smears about Trump etc for Schiff, Pelosi, Schumer, Swalwell, HRC, and the DNC. The Press did absolutely NO investigative reporting and instead chose to be the parroting liars over any search for the truth. And today, despite 4 years of fake front page lies about Steele, the FEC fine story is buries in the WaPo and the NYT. The American public is full of ignorance because we have our Press is sycophants to the Dems. They deserve to die in darkness, since they have created lies.

  7. It has long been obvious that the democrat party and its leaders are corrupt to the core, and their corruption has infected nearly every institution and organization that it touches. The DOJ and its FBI. the State Department, CIA, and the White House no longer are defenders of American values; instead, they are mere tools used by democrats to silence and eliminate opposition and prevent democrats from being held accountable for their crimes. Democrats, nationwide, care so little for this country that they knowingly foisted on us a demented President and truly dumb Vice President who are too weak and stupid to stand for anything. They dutifully do what they are told when they can remember what it was (or speak in coherent sentences). Because of democrats our country now is in crisis. Of course this would not have been possible but for an equally corrupt media that forgot, if they ever really believed, what it means to be a free press. Nearly every great country that has lost its greatness rotted from within. That seems to be the path we are on.

    1. Transnational Organized Crime
      Those self-perpetuating associations of individuals who operate transnationally for the purpose of obtaining power, influence, and monetary and/or commercial gains, wholly or in part by illegal means, while protecting their activities through a pattern of corruption and/or violence, or while protecting their illegal activities through a transnational organizational structure and the exploitation of transnational commerce or communication mechanisms.


      I would say our federal government meets much of this definition. What a racket. And unlike the traditional organized crime syndicates, this one runs the only justice department with the power to indict and prosecute. Kind of hard to be a whistleblower against this syndicate when they run the witness protection program.

  8. I appreciate the candor of this site very much, indeed, it’s why I show up. But the Professor, like so many liberals seem to fail to grasp the simple fact: this is all irrelevant if we do not have a frame work and system for the principles we spouse to work within – it is irrelevant. And that is precisely what we are headed toward. It is equally maddening that those of that mindset fail to see that all they have to do is vote differently. There is *no longer a sane and just American democratic party*. Period. They are a regime, and if you vote for anyone within that regime, you are *voting for the regime*. That’s it. No other answer. What in the name of Hades will it take at this point for generational democrats to see this?

  9. I keep waiting for the big drop that never comes. It is inconceivable that Steele prepared his dossier without first clearing his activity, and then clearing the report itself, with the highest levels of the UK—the Prime Minister office, Foreign Ministry, and intel agencies (MI6). That was the real foreign interference in the 2016 election, and US politics for the subsequent 4 years.

    1. Steele wasn’t working for the British government, and it’s “inconceivable” that he would have sought to clear it with them.

      1. We do know the 5 I’s were involved in the spying on Trump. The head of MI6 resigned without advance notice, within days of President Trump was sworn in.
        President Trump was the bigger man and has not revealed to the Public the extent of collusion between some of the 5 I’s and the CIA spying on a presidential campaign. Italy was also involved.
        But I agree, Steele was hiding from British officials, not seeking approval.

        His sudden resignation – he informed staff just hours before making this decision public – prompted speculation that it might be related to British concerns over shared intelligence with the US in the wake of Donald Trump becoming president.

  10. Small change for all the legal fees many individuals incurred, the cost of the Mueller investigation, destroyed lives. And such.
    I wonder how many of us would react to such a coup attempt when we know in our heart we did nothing for which we were accused. Revolutions have started over less. Brings to mind Turkey. Was that a real coup attempt or just a staged coup so Erdowan could institute a reign of oppression. Or 1/6. Maybe we should have a column of legal remedies open to the former president and many of his accused staff for damages to be obtained from HRC and the DNC. Sounds like a class action suit to me.

    1. GEB, as Harry Reed once said, so what if I lied, we won the election.

  11. I kept waiting to read the line – “But it would be wrong”

    Oh, wrong scandal

  12. Anyone who would hire Elias today, after disclosures over the past at least 6 years, is doing not much differently than hiring an ‘aggressive accountant’ to minimize one’s tax bill. The main difference is one of ethics — Elias has none, whereas the aggressive accountant is pushing the envelope.

  13. $123K fine for trying to subvert an election, tainting a presidency, and lying to America for years! Not bad.

    What would an ordinary American suffer for those crimes?

    Ask the 1/6 rioters.

    1. Monument, the difference in penalties tells us that the government has changed and is now run in a ‘fascist’ manner. We are no longer a free people.

  14. Why did this article remind me of Michael Avenatti?
    Give me a minute; it will come to me. . . .

    1. Old Guy,

      There were no washed-up porn stars involved so we can rule out that mental association…

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