Sunday, August 22, 2021

Bull Durham v. Marc Elias?

Breitbart has a report concerning Dem top election law attorney Marc Elias. Elias is leaving his long time firm of Perkins Coie, taking with him 11 partners and some other lawyers to start a new election law firm:

Democrat Election Lawyer, Russia Hoaxer Marc Elias Leaves Perkins Coie Ahead of Durham Report

The article is very worthwhile as a refresher on Elias' involvement in the Russia Hoax. It also goes into Elias' background as one of the very top lawyers for the Dems--which means, for the Clinton organization.

For our purposes the important point is that Elias was the person who arranged for the Clinton Campaign to hire Fusion GPS to do opposition research, while funneling payments to Fusion GPS through Perkins Coie. My understanding--subject to correction--is that such an arrangement would have been in violation of election laws.

Fusion, in turn, hired Christopher Steele, the British former MI6 agent who wrote the fictional "Steele Dossier" that ultimately ended up being delivered to the FBI in Fall of 2016. This "dossier" served as the basis for the FBI's "Crossfire Hurricane" investigation. I say that, even though the attempt has been made to conceal that by claiming that Crossfire Hurricane was predicated on George Papadopoulos' conversations with Australian "diplomat" Alexander Downer.

For the last few weeks we've been treated to articles claiming that Durham's investigation is drawing to a close. Durham's investigation is said to have focused on the origins of Crossfire Hurricane and the possibility that non-government actors may have provided the FBI with false information. That appears to be a broad hint that Durham has been investigating the roles played in the Russia Hoax by key Dem operatives: Fusion GPS and its head, Glenn Simpson (also other Fusion employees such as Nellie Ohr); Marc Elias; and Michael Sussmann--a key Clinton lawyer who personally delivered the "dossier" to the FBI's top lawyer, James Baker.

Washington law professor Jonathan Turley is of the view that Elias' departure from Perkins Coie is tied to revelations that may come from Durham's report--if it's ever released to the public. Certainly it's understandable that, as a result of Elias' ethics problems, Perkins Coie may have come to regard Elias as too hot to handle, and may have asked him to take his practice elsewhere. As for the possibility that Elias could be indicted for providing false information to the FBI, it appears that Durham will need to work very quickly and get approval from AG Merrick Garland very quickly, since the statute of limitations--as I understand the timeline--likely runs out in September or October (at the very latest).

My guess is that there won't be an indictment, that the statute of limitations will be allowed to run, but that Elias will be criticized by Durham--probably as an incorrigible liar. Elias will doubtless get over that. Here is a summary of Turley's tweets on the subject:

Marc Elias is leaving Perkins Coie before the release of the John Durham report.

It is interesting that Maggie Haberman revealed it. She was one of the reporters who revealed the lies of the Clinton team over the Steele dossier.

...New York Times reporter Ken Vogel said at the time that Clinton lawyer Marc Elias, with the law firm of Perkins Coie, denied involvement in the anti-Trump dossier... 

...When Vogel tried to report the story, he said, Elias “pushed back vigorously, saying ‘You (or your sources) are wrong.’” Times reporter Maggie Haberman declared, “Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year.”

Understandably, reporters don't like to be lied to, but that happens when you talk to people like Elias. I hope I'm wrong, but I don't expect an indictment.


  1. Statute of limitations runs out just as Durham completes report. Imagine that.

    1. Unfortunately, I can imagine that.

    2. As long as a criminal conspiracy is ongoing and the criminals are continuing to withhold evidence, I think the statute of limitations is tolled.

      Remember the FBI agents who framed 3-4 guys for murders Whitey Bulger committed? The statute of limitations did not expire because they conspired to convict innocent men. Once exposed, the statute of limitations started.

      Durham has obviously not had the cooperation from Federal agents related to the criminal conduct of members of the FBI, DOJ, CIA, and other three-letter agencies.

    3. Someone in Durham's office has likely given the Chairman of the Board a heads up on what to expect from his report/criminal indictments; neither of which is good for Perkins Coie.

    4. Good point, but it's not clear to me that the delay in indictment is the fault of the perps--have they withheld evidence?--or simply delay on the part of Durham, failure to pursue the investigation aggressively.

    5. I think it is a very safe assumption that the co-conspirators in the FBI, DOJ, CIA, etc. are still covering up the criminal conduct of all those involved.

      It appears to me that RICO charges should be available. Statute of limitations for RICO is 10 years, plus any periods of tolling.

    6. 1. Failure on the part of targets of an investigation to come forward and admit guilt does not toll the SOL. If that were true it would make a mockery of the presumption of innocence. I'm not sure at what point the SOL would take effect--it's possible that it could run into next year--but I have no faith in Durham bringing charges against anyone who could implicate significant players in the Russia Hoax.

      2. No, no RICO. Period.

  2. Speaking of Russia Hoaxes, under he topic Penalizing the "bad" Russians, you find this:

    "The United States will impose a second round of sanctions on the Russian Federation over its use of a “Novichok” nerve agent in the August 2020 poisoning of Russian opposition figure Aleksey Navalny.

    New sanctions imposed today under the CBW Act include:

    1. Restrictions on the permanent imports of certain Russian firearms. New and pending permit applications for the permanent importation of firearms and ammunition manufactured or located in Russia will be subject to a policy of denial."

    How long you say?

    "These latest sanctions on Russia pursuant to the CBW Act will take effect upon the publication of a Federal Register notice expected on September 7, 2021, and they will remain in place for a minimum of 12 months. The sanctions can only be lifted after a 12-month period if the Executive Branch determines and certifies to Congress that Russia has met several conditions described in the CBW Act, 22 U.S.C. 5605(c), including (1) providing reliable assurances that it will not use chemical weapons in violation of international law, (2) it is not making preparations to use chemical weapons in the future, (3) it is willing to allow international inspectors to verify those assurances, and (4) it is making restitution to Mr. Navalny."

    Probably never. i don't think Vladimir could care less.

    A buddy of mine was po'd that this will likely impact his ability to purchase supplies for his hobby at a reasonable price if at all. You go Xioe!

    1. That Russian ammo is crap anyway.

    2. The steel cased imports were the only thing keeping the market afloat.

      This will jump costs another 30%+ across the board, welcome to $2 a round.

  3. Most likely the political talking heads have this grand jury thing wrong. If your counting this is round two of Durham / grand jury talk after he switched focus from the insututions to private enterprises.

    If anything I think it's being used (abused) as a means to permanently seal all information away from public disclosure before releasing a report that sounds like it was written in an alternate universe.

    Their tricks are getting old...

  4. According to FEC Elias brought PC something like $70M in revenue.

    1. Related. SWC was speculating earlier that Elias had received a "target letter" from Durham, and that would explain why he suddenly left PC. However, it seems to me that that doesn't explain why 11 parents and 3 other lawyers left with him to set up a new election law firm.

    2. It reminds me of the Podesta brothers lobbyist break up post "foreign agent" fiasco.

  5. Christopher Steele testified that he got the information about Alfa Bank from Michael Sussman. Steele subsequently included that Alfa information in his Dossier.

    Sussman and Marc Elias both were lawyers at Perkins Coie.

    Elias knew for a fact that Steele would brief reporters about Alfa Bank.

    I think that essentially is the arrangement for which Elias (along with Sussman) will be criticized by Durham.

    Clinton campaign knew about Fusion GPS plan to have Christopher Steele brief reporters about dossier

    1. The several recent articles have stated that Durham is looking at non-gov people providing false info to the FBI. I think that refers to Sussmann (with possible collusion of Elias and others) providing the info to James Baker, the FBI's top lawyer--as explained above. That's a potential crime.

      Sussmann and/or Elias lying to reporters is not a crime and is not something that Durham is likely to care about in and of itself. That's more a political matter, and that's why Elias had no problem discussing it with Trey Gowdy.

    2. The Alfa Bank story originated in relation to Trump Tower. In 2013 the FBI culminated an investigation of an gambling ring that was based in Russia and that operated in Trump Tower.

      In seems that some FBI officials suspected that that gambling ring involved Donald Trump and Alfa Bank. However, any such FBI suspicion did not effect any legal proceedings.

      Nevertheless, some non-FBI actors subsequently were prompted to make something of that suspicion. For example, some computer experts were prompted to study Alfa Bank's communications. For another example, Christopher Steele was prompted to include the suspicion in his Dossier.

      FBI official Michael Gaeta perhaps was involved in such promptings. Gaeta participated in the investigation of Trump Tower and then was transferred to Rome, where he collected Dossier reports from Steele.

    3. I would not say that Steele lied to the reporters. Steele actually believed the information that he briefed to the reporters.

      As far as FBI official Michael Gaeta was concerned, however, Steele thereby deceived the FBI, because Steele was supposed to keep the Dossier information secret from reporters.

      Elias knew that Steele was briefing reporters. Of course, Elias himself was not liable for knowing that, but Elias was informed about and involved in Steele's activities.

    4. In my above comment about the gambling ring in Trump Tower, I meant to link to my own summary of that situation.

    5. I suppose that Durham has learned where Sussman and Elias got the Alfa Bank information that was given to Steele to include in the Dossier.

      I suppose that Sussman and Elias got such information from someone in the FBI, which is an organization capable of developing such information.

      If so, then I suppose that Sussman and Elias were told also that the FBI had failed to implicate either Alfa Bank or Donald Trump in the illegal gambling activities.

      Knowing that, Sussman and Elias nevertheless gave the information to Steele, who included it in his Dossier, pretending he got the information instead from Russian sources.

      Durham might -- or might not -- be able to indict Sussman and/or Elias for this arrangement. It depends of details of exactly what they did and of exactly what Durham can prove.

    6. Ha! Steel believed (repackaged) what Nelly Ore told him to believe. :)