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Couldn't happen to a nicer guy: Report chronicles the swift downfall of Marc Elias

Marc Elias
Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, May 11, 2022

It's been a rough month for Marc Elias, the Democrat Party's top legal attack dog.

Last week, special counsel John Durham accused Elias, who represented Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, of lying about his relationship with Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm Elias retained to assist Hillary's failed 2016 campaign.

On Wednesday, a judge disparaged a lawsuit brought by Elias as a partisan "Hail Mary pass" intended to undermine free and fair elections, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

In the lawsuit, Elias on behalf of New York Democrats requested an emergency injunction to have New York use Democrat-drawn district lines for congressional elections that had already been ruled unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, a Bill Clinton appointee, tossed the lawsuit and berated Elias, saying: "In the 102 years since my father, then a Ukrainian refugee, came into this country, if there were two things that he drilled into my head, they were … free, open, rational elections [and] respect for the courts. The relief that I'm being asked to give today impinges, to some degree, on the public perception of both. And I'm not going to do that."

The Free Beacon's Kevin Daley noted that Elias's tactics "are now drawing rebukes from judges, prosecutors, and even fellow Democrats, who say his hard-charging nature is hurting the party. Elias is publicly reeling. He last month scrubbed years of posts from his Twitter feed and hasn't explained why. The move comes less than a year after he decamped from the white-shoe law firm Perkins Coie to found his own law firm — ostensibly to engage 'more fully' in the 'political process,' though some speculate the firm was increasingly uncomfortable with Elias's tactics and the scrutiny of the Durham probe. Durham indicted Elias's partner, Michael Sussman, a month after Elias left."

Elias had told Durham that he retained Fusion GPS to support his legal work — and that, as a result, it is subject to attorney-client privilege. Durham was not having it: "The factual record and Fusion GPS's own communications raise serious questions about this depiction," Durham wrote.

On May 2, Durham submitted a court filing that presses Elias about his relationship with Fusion GPS.

"It's a sure sign that the special counsel isn't letting the matter lie, and a request for sanctions could be near," Daley wrote.

The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year sanctioned Elias for "lack of candor" in a Texas election case.

"Elias has virtually limitless funding and will challenge any voting law anywhere if he thinks doing so will help his party," said the Honest Elections Project's Jason Snead. "His strategy often backfires since many of the cases are weak or frivolous. Some of Elias's allies on the left criticize his strategy and judgment."

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