The Democrats’ top lawyer and central actor in Russia collusion hoax, Marc Elias, deleted all tweets published prior to April 4. As AZ Free News reported, Elias is assisting several activist groups in their lawsuits against Arizona for enacting a law requiring proof of citizenship in order to vote. According to court filings, only one case has seen action beyond the initial complaint: the court allowed Attorney General Mark Brnovich to intervene in the case filed by Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA).
Elias hasn’t offered an explanation for the sudden purge; he joined Twitter in March 2009. In recent months, federal investigators have closed in on those behind the Russia collusion hoax, or Russiagate.
At the end of March, the Federal Election Commission fined the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign $113,000 for misrepresenting payments for opposition research used to create Russiagate. Elias was Clinton’s general counsel and his law firm at the time, Perkins Coie, billed for “legal expenses” that were used to hire an opposition research firm, Fusion GPS, to do their work on former President Donald Trump.
Fusion GPS obtained the debunked “Steele dossier” linking Trump to Russia from former British spy Christopher Steel, who created the dossier using false information from a Russian analyst living in Virginia, Igor Danchenko, who in turn received some ideas from former Clinton aide Charles Donlan Jr.
Buzzfeed first published the fake dossier in January 2017, ten days before Trump’s inauguration. The lies cast a shadow on all four years of Trump’s presidency.
Although Elias wasn’t President Joe Biden’s general counsel for his campaign — he served as Vice President Kamala Harris’ general counsel during her short bid for president — the Biden campaign and the DNC enlisted his help to counter 65 lawsuits challenging the 2020 election results.
Last August, Elias left his partnership at Perkins Coie to launch his own law firm: the Elias Law Group. He took 10 partners with him.
A month later, a federal grand jury indicted Perkins Coie partner Michael Sussman for making false statements to the FBI concerning alleged communications between Trump and Russia. In a 48-page motion last month to admit additional evidence, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) alleged that Sussman attempted to manipulate the FBI to advance the interests of his client, the Clinton campaign, by giving then-FBI general counsel James Baker information that Trump was colluding with Russia based on alleged internet server communications between the Trump Organization and Russia’s Alfa-Bank. Sussman’s indictment noted that he billed the Clinton campaign for time spent drafting the document given to Baker.
Then, the DOJ alleged that Sussman turned around and ordered Steele to create reports about the Alfa-Bank communications. After that, the DOJ alleged that Sussman and Fusion GPS employees presented their information to media.
Sussman wasn’t one of the 10 partners that Elias recruited for his law firm.
In January, Elias testified in Sussman’s case. In February, Sussman asked U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper to dismiss the case; Cooper denied the request last month. The trial is scheduled for May 16. At the pretrial hearing, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
While Sussman was dealing with the fallout of Russiagate, his former employer and Elias moved onto other controversial clients.
According to Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings, Black Lives Matter PAC paid the Elias Law Group nearly $8,000 for legal services and Perkins Coie over $8,000 for compliance services from January through March. Black Lives Matter came under scrutiny over the last year for its use of millions in donations to purchase mansions.
As for the DOJ case against Sussman, Elias and other top Clinton officials are fighting to keep the work done by Fusion GPS under wraps, claiming that it qualified for the confidentiality required of legal work.
Previous Democratic state representative Gabby Giffords alleged in a federal lawsuit that the National Rifle Association (NRA) broke campaign finance laws by using shell corporations to coordinate advertising with individuals running for federal office. The lawsuit alleged that the NRA illegally gave up to $35 million to the campaigns of at least seven candidates: previous President Donald Trump, who may have received up to $25 million; Republican Senators Josh Hawley (MO), Thom Tillis (NC), Ron Johnson (WI), Tom Cotton (AR); former Republican Senator Cory Gardner (CO); and Representative Matt Rosendale (MT).
These illegal contributions allegedly occurred in the 2014, 2016, and 2018 elections. In that last year, Giffords filed complaints to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against the NRA’s contributions. After the FEC didn’t act, Giffords sought and received a district court order this September to compel the FEC to act within 30 days. The FEC reportedly failed to act once again, allowing Giffords to sue. Those named in the complaint are the NRA, Rosendale, and Hawley.
Giffords’ counsel asserted that these allegedly illegal funds were the NRA “buying influence over elected officials” as part of a national scheme. Giffords Law Center Senior Staff Attorney David Pucino characterized the NRA and the politicians they backed financially as corrupt.
“The NRA has long acted like it is above the law, and it has done so flagrantly in the last several election cycles. This lawsuit demonstrates that the NRA broke the law by illegally coordinating with federal campaigns and funneling millions of dollars to candidates who supported their extremist, deadly agenda,” said Pucino. “We are suing the NRA to finally hold them accountable for actions that corrupted politicians and undermined our democracy.”
The NRA responded Thursday, asserting their innocence.
“[Just] another premeditated abuse of the public by our adversaries, who will stop at nothing in their pursuit of their anti-freedom agenda. This latest action is as misguided as it is transparent,” asserted the NRA. “Suffice it to say, the NRA has full confidence in its political activities and remains eager to set the record straight.”
Giffords’ lawsuit describes how she co-founded her gun violence nonprofit in 2013 to compete directly with the NRA after surviving a targeted shooting in 2011. The other co-founder was her husband, Democratic Senator Mark Kelly.
As AZ Free News reported in September, Kelly never recused himself from voting on President Joe Biden’s since-retracted nominee for the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), David Chipman, who his nonprofit hired, endorsed, and backed financially.
The lawsuit requests relief in the form of limited funding in future elections and a penalty payment matching their allegedly illegal contributions: up to $35 million.
Earlier this month the Arizona Supreme Court agreed with a lower court’s ruling that parts of 4 of the 11 budget bills signed into law by Gov. Doug Ducey this summer are unconstitutional on procedural grounds. The reaction from business owners and community leaders was swift, with many left wondering when and how lawmakers will address the dozens of provisions dropped from those budget bills.
Among those provisions was a prohibition on a county, city, or town from issuing COVID-19 ordinances that impact private businesses, schools, churches, or other private entities, including mask mandates. Other prohibitions would have kept K-12 schools from requiring vaccines with an emergency use authorization for in-person attendance and ensured public universities and community colleges could not mandate COVID vaccines and vaccine passports.
The Arizona Free Enterprise Club (AFEC) describes the Justices’ recent opinion as “devastating” and “a big blow to the people of Arizona.” The organization has drawn attention to the uncertainty and frustration across Arizona at a time when the pandemic impacts are still being felt in the state’s economy, and as individual freedoms are under attack.
As a result, the AFEC is leading the call for the Arizona Legislature and the Governor to immediately address the critical reforms that the Supreme Court struck down.
“They must exhaust every option possible, including special session, to protect Arizonans from more COVID mandates and the bigoted teachings of Critical Race Theory,” according to AFEC. “But make no mistake, while this ruling is devastating, it will not stop the battle over these critical issues. There’s just too much at stake. Because if the uncertainty and frustration caused by these issues are allowed to continue, it would be the most devastating news of all.”