According to a federal appeals court, Marc Elias, a Democrat attorney and debunked dossier financier, failed in his attempt to get out of fines for deceiving the court.
When he was working as Hillary Clinton’s major campaign litigator in 2016, the former Perkins Coie lawyer became well-known for financing British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s debunked dossier.
NEW: Appeals court judges just shot down an effort by Marc Elias to wriggle out of the sanctions imposed on him for the "inexplicable failure" by him & his colleagues to properly disclose litigation info, which "violated their duty of candor to the court."https://t.co/o9GcIqs399
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) January 14, 2022
Wasting the Court’s Time
A three-judge board of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled against him in March.
It arose as a result of his fraudulent actions during a legal battle over a Republican-backed Texas rule that barred straight-ticket voting in the state.
In late December, the counsel representing Elias described the sanctions as unusual and requested a full appeals court review to “remove the chilling impact” of the fines. This week, nevertheless, the motion was refused by a unanimous decision of the court panel.
It was established last year by the judges on the 5th Circuit that Elias and others on his team refiled a previously dismissed request. They did so without informing the court the initial attempt had been rejected.
Two of the three judges agreed with the punishment, stating Elias abused the court’s time by appearing in court.
They also found the duplicate request “magnified the proceedings excessively and veraciously,” as the justices determined last year.
The judges found “this unexplained refusal to disclose the prior denial of their motion breached their duty of honesty to the court.” A judgment was entered against Elias, ordering him to pay lawyers’ fees, including double costs.
The judges also recommended Elias revisit the section of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct titled, “Candor Towards the Tribunal,” as well as “complete one hour of continuing legal education in ethics and professionalism, particularly candor with the court.”
Fighting “for” Democracy
As part of the opposition research team Fusion GPS, Elias, who founded his own law company last year, recruited the opposition research company Fusion GPS.
He testified he was conscious of Fusion’s schemes to have Steele brief journalists about his anti-Trump investigation during the 2016 election.
Elias also testified that he met with Steele during the 2016 election, and he occasionally briefed the campaign on the research results of Fusion and Steele during the 2016 election.
In the electoral court fights of 2020, Elias earned notoriety as a former attorney for now-Vice President Kamala Harris’ 2020 presidential campaign.
A second now-former Perkins Coie lawyer, Michael Sussmann, with whom Elias worked extensively on anti-Trump research in 2016, was indicted as part of independent counsel John Durham’s criminal investigation.
Despite his pivotal role in subverting the 2016 presidential election with the unfounded Trump-Russia story, Elias sought to portray himself as a defender of democracy, according to the Washington Examiner.
Marc Elias — who funded & spread claims from the discredited Steele Dossier (which undermined a democratic election & presidency) — had to delete his initial tweets because he had a Freudian slip & accidentally labeled himself as someone who was “fighting democracy.” Just 😘👌. https://t.co/WOjRDlKGl0 pic.twitter.com/M6kdjLwoM8
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) January 8, 2022
As a result, Elias made the mistake of alluding to himself as someone who was “fighting democracy” on Twitter, before quickly correcting himself to declare he was “fighting FOR democracy.”