by WorldTribune Staff, November 13, 2020
Marc Elias the Democratic National Committee’s election lawyer and legal adviser to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, filed more than 50 lawsuits around the country challenging state election laws in advance of the 2020 presidential election.
In a 2018 Tweet, President Donald Trump referred to Elias as the Democrats’ “best Election stealing lawyer.”
Though most of the state laws he challenged have been on the books for years, Elias went full steam ahead asking courts to overrule state election laws, force states to count ballots that came in after Election Day, or force states to have unattended ballot collection boxes.
Elias chairs the political law group for the progressive, Seattle-based firm Perkins Coie, “which has had a stranglehold on Democratic legal work for years,” National Review noted in a Nov. 3 analysis.
Since 2019, Perkins Coie has been paid at least $41 million for its political work by Democratic-affiliated organizations, according to Federal Election Commission records. Republican lawyers say that is likely just a fraction of what Perkins Coie has received, because it doesn’t include legal work for many left-wing nonprofits.
Elias was also a key player in the Russia collusion hoax. As the attorney for both the DNC and Clinton campaign, he helped bankroll research by Fusion GPS that created the bogus “Steele dossier” used by the FBI to obtain FISA warrants to spy on the Trump campaign during the 2016 race.
“There have been more lawsuits filed this year before the election trying to change election rules than I’ve ever seen before, and I’ve been doing election stuff for three decades,” Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, told National Review. “What they’ve been trying to do is take advantage of COVID-19 to get the changes they’ve wanted for years into election rules.”
The goal of Elias was to “lower the bar a little bit in terms of what the requirements are,” lawyer Fritz Knaak told freelance journalist Margaret Menge in an October article for InsideSources.
Knaak represented Republican Sen. Norm Coleman in the bitterly contested 2008 Minnesota U.S. Senate race. Elias and Perkins Coie represented liberal challenger Al Franken, who won the election despite significant questions about illegal voting.
“Elias is the force behind an organization called Democracy Docket,” Menge noted. That group teamed up with progressive groups to file dozens of lawsuits in the weeks leading up to the Nov. 3 election.
According to Knaak, Elias learned a lesson in the contested 2008 Minnesota U.S. Senate race in which leftist Democrat Al Franken following a recount after Republican Norm Coleman had been declared the winner on election day. Franken’s victory gave Democrats the 60 votes they needed in the Senate to pass Obamacare.
“He was right there at the other table when all these things were being argued,” he says. “So they’re certainly keenly aware of what the various issues are and I think what he’s trying to do is minimize those obstacles, lower the bar.”
Among the states Democracy Docket has targeted: Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
In Pennsylvania, Elias filed suit to force county boards of elections to accept late ballots that don’t arrive for a full week after the election. He also sued to force officials to count late ballots without a postmark to prove they were cast by Election Day. Elias also sued to prevent county boards of elections from disqualifying ballots if the signatures don’t match those on file, and to prevent rejection of ballots that aren’t in the security envelope, and only inside of one envelope.
Republican lawyers say Elias’s self-righteous displays are part of a strategy to perpetuate the false disenfranchise-voter narrative. No one wants to disenfranchise millions of voters, they argue.
“With Elias, it’s not actually about the voters,” said Christopher White, senior associate counsel with the RNC. “It’s about getting this narrative going that makes him money, gets turnout juiced up, and creates chaos and the opportunity for even more litigation after the election.”