The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has announced that it is cutting ties with Marc Elias, their election lawyer who has been involved in numerous scandals, including the production of the Steele dossier where Donald Trump’s campaign was falsely accused of colluding with Russia. According to Punchbowl News, the DNC and Elias are parting ways due to “strategic disagreements.” Elias’s reputation as one of the Democratic Party’s top election lawyers did not spare him of various setbacks in recent years, with a recent ruling causing a federal judge to dismiss one of his lawsuits meant to undermine free elections as a “Hail Mary” pass. He made over $1.9 million from the DNC during this cycle alone.
A spokesperson for the DNC expressed gratitude for Elias’s years of service, while a spokesperson for his firm, Elias Law Group, said they were proud of the work that they have done for the DNC. However, Elias and his clients have been linked to the Democratic Party’s largest scandals recently. Elias came under the limelight during John Fetterman’s U.S. Senate campaign, where he engaged in pushing Pennsylvania to accept undated mail-in ballots in a bid that aimed to raise the vote count of the stroke survivor. In 2022, Elias represented Andrew Gillum, the disgraced Florida gubernatorial candidate caught in a hotel room intoxicated and full of drugs to withdraw from politics.
As Hillary Clinton’s and the DNC’s lawyer in 2016, Elias enlisted opposition research company Fusion GPS to produce the dossier on Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, a report largely discredited since its 2017 release. The Federal Election Commission last year penalized the DNC and Clinton campaign a combined $113,000 for improperly marking the dossier in campaign financing disclosures as “legal expenses,” instead of opposition research.
Elias typically represents several Democratic candidates, super PACs, and political committees, with specialization in legal action for candidates in ballot recounts and lawsuits designed to allow Democrats to shape voting laws favorably. Elias has sued multiple times to prevent voter ID laws from taking effect. Regardless, recent controversies and setbacks caused the DNC to cut its relationship with Elias.
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