The hearings of the House Select Committee on the Jan. 6th riot have featured a number of Republican lawyers, including former Attorney General Bill Barr, who opposed efforts to challenge the election after finding no support for the widespread election fraud claims of former President Donald Trump. The media called them “Team Normal.” That does not sit well with the most rabid activists who spent years demonizing Barr and others. Yet, the most ironic dissenting voice is that of former Clinton campaign General Counsel Marc Elias, who just ran a vehement column “Calling B.S. On Trump’s ‘Team Normal.'” Elias is a lawyer previously sanctioned in court and accused of lying about the hidden funding of the Steele Dossier by the Clinton campaign.
Elias objects to the praise given to these lawyers who stood up to a president at the risk of their own positions and future. He objects that they supported Trump when he “continued to lie about the election. They protected his fragile ego and damaged our democracy. This may be “normal” for those in Trump’s orbit. I suspect it is. But in reality, it is shameful and despicable. Calling it anything else is bullshit.”
Just as a reminder, Elias, a former partner at the firm Perkins Coie, has been accused of lying to conceal the campaign’s funding of the infamous Steele Dossier. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) 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.
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.
It was Elias who reportedly made the key funding available to Fusion GPS, which in turn enlisted Steele to produce his now discredited dossier on Trump and his campaign. As with the Alfa Bank allegations pushed by his co-counsel, Michael Sussmann, the Russian collusion claims were quickly discredited. Indeed, the dossier was viewed by American intelligence as containing likely disinformation from Russian intelligence services.
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.”
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.” 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 recently. He filed in support of an abusive gerrymandering of the election districts in Maryland that a court found violated not only 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.
These lawyers showed the integrity that Elias failed to demonstrate in his past controversies. Despite their strong political ties to the President, these lawyers refused to be conduits or promoters of claims that they considered false or unsupported. That was hardly the profile of courage that emerged from the Clinton campaign. Even when Hillary Clinton and her adviser Jake Sullivan were pretending that the Alfa Bank story (manufactured through the campaign) was surprising news to them, Elias remained mum and, according to media, denied funding allegations on the Steele dossier.
Calling it otherwise is …. well … what Elias said.
67 thoughts on “Controversial Clinton Lawyer Marc Elias Slams ‘Team Normal” for Supporting Lies”
Pot, meet kettle?
Well reliable or not, he’s right about all the clique who stood silently by and uttered not ONE peep about the psycho in the White House. They all, to a man, enabled that sick man to stay in power.
I know. I can’t believe that Biden is STILL there!!!
Democrats and friendly media scream that Trump “threatened democracy” by challenging certification of electoral results in several states. But Al Gore Jr. challenged certification of Florida’s vote for Bush in November 2000. And Sen. Barbara Boxer challenged certification of Ohio’s electoral votes for Bush in January 2015. No Democrat complained on either occasion. Nor did Democrats complain when Joe Biden said at a fundraiser in 2013 that Al Gore had been elected President in 2000 or when Stacy Abrams claimed that she had been cheated of victory in the Georgia gubernatorial race in 2018. It is funny how American democracy is fragile only when Republicans challenge election results.
Biden wont let up. He is going to punish the mounted border patrol agent falsely accused to whipping illegals crossing the border. The Agents have been cleared of all charges, but Biden has demanded they still must be punished.
The source said that DHS will be putting forth proposals to discipline the agents who will have a chance to respond to the charges. The charges, Fox News is told, are “administrative violations,” and do not amount to criminal conduct – of which the agents were previously cleared.
I’m hoping this is a leak from a sane DHS employee, hoping the firestorm will get Biden to back off. I am not optimistic.
Jonathan: When it comes to “team normal” did you see what is happening in a courtroom in Wisconsin? Trump didn’t want to use his own money on challenges to the election there where Biden won by about only 21,000 votes. Instead he got the Wisconsin’s GOP Assembly Speaker to do the job for him. He told the Speaker to hire Michael Gableman, an attorney and former state supreme court justice, to investigate alleged “voter fraud” in the state’s 2020 election. So the Speaker hired Gableman last year costing Wisconsin taxpayers $900,000. So far Gableman has come up with nothing. A watchdog election group filed a lawsuit against the Assembly Speaker and Gableman requesting records of Gableman’s investigation. Gableman fought the lawsuit and has admitted destroying some of his records. This is where Gableman go into serious legal trouble. In court last week Gableman refused to answer questions despite a subpoena. He berated the judge openly in court for “advocating” for the plaintiffs and said he was being “railroaded” by the judge. Gableman’s in court bizarre behavior became so bad the judge fined Gableman $2,000 per day until he complies with court discovery and other orders. The judge has also referred Gableman for disciplinary action because of his “unprofessional conduct”. Because of his orders the judge has received death threats.
I suppose Trump thought he was getting “team normal” when he got the Speaker to hire Gableman. Well, this is what happens when you think you can use other people’s money–the Wisconsin taxpayers–to fight your legal battles and then hire a former supreme court justice who has no business practicing law!
Dennis ; your reply is a breath of fresh sewage of distraction yet again. I need say no more.
Phergus: Like many in this chatroom you don’t engage in probative or rational dialogue. You simply throw out nonsensical accusations like my comment is “a breath of fresh sewage of distraction…”. Not unexpected. Although it may be a hopeless expectation please point out anything I laid out in my comment that is factually incorrect –or that I maybe misinterpreted what Trump was trying to do in challenging the 2020 election results in Wisconsin. If you think I was wrong in my analysis please explain or don’t waste our time with your own “sewage”.
Dear Mark Elias, the only thing keeping us free in America is the 2nd Amendment.
Australia, Canada, much of Europe, and all Communists countries prove my point.
This is why you can’t depend on the FBI to be an agency dedicated to Justice. The have morphed into the Democrat Party Secret Police
The FBI’s top national security official had dozens of improper meetings with journalists and accepted tickets from one journalist to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, interactions that FBI officials said were a “no-no” and “dangerous.”
Michael Steinbach, who served as an FBI executive assistant director, failed to report the gifts on his federal financial disclosures, according to an inspector general report obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. He met regularly from 2014 until his abrupt retirement in February 2017 with 7 reporters and had contact with 21 others. His interactions with journalists overlapped with his work on major counterterrorism cases and Crossfire Hurricane, the ill-fated investigation into collusion between the 2016 Donald Trump campaign and Russia
Oh good. Another Elias column to obscure the news of the day.
Pointing out that the trump people (the very best people!!!) sat by as trump ran roughshod until they were put under oath is not unusual. At least in the world outside R circles. But in R world, where the rules of the road are ‘we tell people what to do, we don’t get told what to do’ Elias is the boogeyman….
Plus he clearly said something to piss you off., Jon, because he’s so on your misbehaved list. Wonder what he said?
said something to piss you off., Jon, because he’s so on your misbehaved list.
Jon’s post chronicles the list of misbehaves. Not a big deal to you obviously.
For Republican lawyers to not support Trump’s fraudulent effort to overthrow the election is, well, a minimum standard really any halfway decent ethical lawyer should meet. They meet a minimum standard that Rudy Guiliani, the Kraken, Lin Wood, Jenna Ellis, John Eastman and various QAnon attorneys could not meet. But really those people were chosen by Trump because they did not have even a minimum standard of ethics and professionalism expected of lawyers. Geez, even Lindsey Graham said at the time this was all b** s**, and he is a big a sycophant there is.
To call these people courageous for doing what really every Republican lawyer should have been doing; and what lawyer pundits such as Turley too partisan to call out Trump’s obvious lies – is probably praising them too much. Much of Barr’s behavior during his tenure was atrociously partisan and unprofessional, but he met the minimum ethical standard in this case and resigned.
In general, Democratic lawyers’ ethics are not tested as much because they do not have a cult leader whose obvious lies have to be appeased.
John Lott published an excellent statistical analysis of the election results.
He used standard statisical techniques, He compared adjacent precincts that historically voted the same way but were on the opposite side of political boundaries that dictated who counted ballots.
Lott found that these precints which were NOT politically different, they had the same makeup, the same voting history, uniquely appeared to vote significantly differently in 2020 than ever before without explanation.
This is not PROOF of Fraud.
But it is absolutely a foundation for a deep and critical search for Fraud that NEVER occured.
I would note that while I beleive there was large scale fraud int he 2020 election. That is not the worst problem.
The big problem is that Democrats traded trust in elections for securing control of govenrment in 2020.
The 2020 election was conducted lawlessly – something democrats are striving to continue.
And that is incredible dangerous.
There was not “insurection” in 2021. But there could have been, and if this nonsense keeps up eventually there will be.
It took decades of abuse before Lexington and Concord.
Organized large scale political violence is near certain if the rule of law is not quickly re-established.
You do not seem to grasp that it is not good enough that YOU beleive the 2020 election was lawful and fraud free.
It is OK for half the country to beleive the other half voted stupidly.
It is near certain to lead to violence when 10% of the country beleives that one party cheated.
Democracy does not die when your candidate loses.
It dies when too many people believe you cheated.
WE must conduct elections such that not only is large scale fraud impossible,
But that people BELEIVE large scale fraud is impossible – which is much harder.
Ultimately there is no way to secure a mailin election – they do not meet the requirements for secret balloting,
and we know from massive 19th century election fraud that without secret ballots will will get very large scale fraud.
Pretending otherwise is just burrying your head in the sand.
The good news for Republicans – and the Bad news for democrats – is there is a limit to the ability to manipulate elections even with massive election fraud. The likely fraud that occurred in 2020 – which is probably somewhat less than 1M fraudulent votes in 6 states. is probably the largest scale fraud that can be gotten away with ONCE.
With near certainty there will be fraud in 2022. But if it is even half the scale of 2020 it WILL be caught unless the tactics are radically changed.
Those of you on the left do not seem to grasp the full impact that the TTV 2000 mules investigation has had.
While it has barely moved the needle with respect to driving investigations – democrats have successfully intimidated prosecutors accross the country, and many many republican politicians want to get past 2020 and move on – A significant portion of VOTERS do not, and Democrats doing stupid things like this J6 starchamber are just driving voters back to concerns about the 2020 election.
Watching 2000 mules shifted EVERY voting block atleast 10pts towards concluding there was MASSIVE election fraud – that includes democrats and independents.
Many republicans fear that claims of election fraud will depress Republican votes – and that is possible.
But it also may outrage votes and cause even more to vote.
I would further note that the evidence of election fraud poses a credibility problem for Democrats.
It is near certain there will be a red wave in Nov.
I think for many reasons we currently underestimate the scale of that wave.
Biden has been a failure as a president.
But more so than Ever the entire democratic party is Complicit.
I was in OH and Dem. Ryan was running adds that divorced himself from Biden as thoroughly as possible and even attached himself to Trump. But it is very hard for Democrats (except Manchin and Sienema) to run away from Biden’s failures. They voted for the disastrous spending.
Further it is unfortunate but between now and the election things are going to get worse. Almost all leading businesses expect a recession. Some beleive we are now in one.
There is nothing that can be done quickly to improve things.
We are paying now for mistakes made almost 2 years ago.
It is highly unlikely democrats have any good news coming and lots more bad news int he next year
As noted democrats are already running away from Biden – but they can not, they were part of this.
There is no amount of fraud that can overcome the political wave that is coming.
But there is an amount of fraud that will be obvious.
Sussman ? Klinesmith ? To name a few.