Lawyer Behind Russian Dossier Tried to Undermine Bernie Sanders as well as Trump

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: October 25, 2017

Marc Elias, Law Partner at Perkins Coie, the Law Firm Representing the DNC Against Fraud Charges

Marc Elias, Law Partner at Perkins Coie

Last evening, the Washington Post dropped a bombshell on the already discredited leadership of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) under its former Chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The Post reported that Marc Elias, a law partner at the politically connected law firm Perkins Coie, retained the company, Fusion GPS, that compiled the infamous Russian Dossier on Donald Trump. The Post said he did so on behalf of the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC. (The current leadership of the DNC has stated that it had no knowledge of these actions.)

After the Washington Post story broke, New York Times reporters Ken Vogel and Maggie Haberman Tweeted that they had been lied to by those involved. Haberman Tweeted: “Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year.” Vogel Tweeted: “When I tried to report this story, Clinton campaign lawyer @marceelias pushed back vigorously, saying ‘You (or your sources) are wrong.’”

Elias is also the lawyer defending the class action lawsuit filed last year by Senator Bernie Sanders’ supporters against Wasserman Schultz and the DNC. The lawsuit alleges fraud, negligent misrepresentation, deceptive conduct, unjust enrichment, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligence. The amended complaint indicates that more than 1,000 individuals have signed retainer agreements to serve as class representatives.

Emails leaked by Wikileaks in July of 2016 show Wasserman Schultz referring to Sanders’ campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, as “an ass,” “particularly scummy” and a “damn liar” as her staff conspired in emails to characterize Sanders as an atheist and his campaign a “mess.” (Sanders has stated that he is not an atheist.) As these anti-Sanders emails were flying about, the DNC set up a joint fundraising account with Hillary Clinton, effectively functioning as if Clinton had no primary challenger, despite the fact that Sanders’ rallies had thousands of supporters while Clinton’s were embarrassingly small in contrast.

Wasserman Schultz and key DNC officials were clearly violating their own Charter. Article Five, Section 4 of the DNC Charter mandates the following:

“The National Chairperson shall serve full time and shall receive such compensation as may be determined by agreement between the Chairperson and the Democratic National Committee. In the conduct and management of the affairs and procedures of the Democratic National Committee, particularly as they apply to the preparation and conduct of the Presidential nomination process, the Chairperson shall exercise impartiality and even handedness as between the Presidential candidates and campaigns. The Chairperson shall be responsible for ensuring that the national officers and staff of the Democratic National Committee maintain impartiality and even handedness during the Democratic Party Presidential nominating process.”

Multiple leaked emails also showed lawyers at Perkins Coie engaging in strategy that appeared to benefit Clinton over Sanders.

On July 25, 2016, under the headline “Here are the latest, most damaging things in the DNC’s leaked emails,” Washington Post reporter Aaron Blake called out an email from Marc Elias, writing:

A Clinton lawyer gives DNC strategy advice on Sanders — When the Sanders campaign alleged that the Clinton campaign was improperly using its joint fundraising committee with the DNC to benefit itself, Clinton campaign lawyer Marc Elias offered the DNC guidance on how to respond. ‘My suggestion is that the DNC put out a statement saying that the accusations the Sanders campaign are not true,’ Elias said May 3 in response to an email about the issue sent by communications director Luis Miranda to other DNC stuff that copied Elias and another lawyer at his firm, Perkins Coie.

“Elias continued: ‘The fact that CNN notes that you aren’t getting between the two campaigns is the problem. Here, Sanders is attacking the DNC and its current practice, its past practice with the POTUS and with Sec Kerry. Just as the RNC pushes back directly on Trump over ‘rigged system’, the DNC should push back DIRECTLY at Sanders and say that what he is saying is false and harmful [to] the Democratic party.’ ”

According to the Perkins Coie’s website in 2016, Marc Elias was “general counsel to Hillary for America,” the main fundraising vehicle for Hillary Clinton’s political campaign. Simultaneously, Elias served as one of a team of lawyers from Perkins Coie that represented the DNC. Exactly how that was impartial to the campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders has yet to be explained.

Prior to the WikiLeaks emails being released, a hacker going by the moniker “Guccifer 2.0” released a DNC document dated May 26, 2015 – almost one month after Senator Sanders had declared his candidacy. The memo leaves little doubt that the DNC had pre-determined that Hillary Rodham Clinton (“HRC”) was to be the Democratic Presidential candidate, again in brazen violation of its charter.

The memo states that “Our goals in the coming months will be to frame the Republican field and the eventual nominee early and to provide a contrast between the GOP field and HRC.” It further suggests that the DNC use “specific hits to muddy the waters around ethics, transparency and campaign finance attacks on HRC.” Another recommended strategy will be to “utilize reporters” and create stories in the media “with no fingerprints.”

The Sanders’ supporters’ lawsuit was dismissed by the Federal District Court on September 19 of this year on highly dubious technical grounds. The plaintiffs have filed an appeal with the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Marc Elias has already filed the paperwork to indicate that he will serve as Lead Counsel for both the DNC and Wasserman Schultz in the appeals process.

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