Marc Elias Testifies at Sussmann Trial He Had ‘Discretion’ to ‘Direct’ Fusion GPS

Attorney Marc E. Elias makes an argument during a hearing on Mark E. Harris v. NC State Board of Elections in Superior Court in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. A North Carolina judge is considering a demand to order the victory of the Republican in the country's last undecided …
Robert Willett/The News & Observer via AP, Pool

Marc Elias, a key Democratic Party election attorney partly responsible for arranging the fraudulent “Russia dossier” in 2016, took the stand Wednesday in the trial of former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann.

Sussmann faces charges of lying to the FBI when he allegedly hid the fact that he was working for the campaign when he told then-FBI general counsel James Baker about a conspiracy theory tying then-candidate Donald Trump to Russia via Alfa Bank.

The theory was soon discredited.

The prosecution is the most important thus far for Special Counsel John H. Durham’s investigation into the origins of the Russia collusion hoax.

Elias is a key witness, who was called to the stand by prosecutors to provide evidence showing that Sussmann was, in fact, working for the campaign.

As Breitbart News previously reported:

Elias remains one of the most important election lawyers for the party, pushing to overturn ballot integrity laws, challenging results in close races, and suing to protect Democrat redistricting maps (and fight against Republican maps) in various states.

Elias, who left Perkins Coie to start the Elias Law Group before his former colleague, Michael Sussmann, was indicted for allegedly lying to the FBI, hired the Fusion GPS opposition research firm on behalf of the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee to dig up supposed dirt on Trump in Russia. The result, the Steele “dossier,” led to the “Russia collusion” conspiracy theory that led the FBI to spy on the Trump campaign and damaged the Trump presidency.

Ultimately, the conspiracy theory was found to be meritless by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Special Counsel Durham indicted Sussmann for lying about his role working for Clinton in a related effort to link Trump to Russia via Alfa Bank.

Elias, who went on to lead Democrats’ efforts to force vote-by-mail in the 2020 presidential election, apparently went on to testify at grand jury proceedings. He has tried to keep some communications from Durham by citing attorney-client privilege, claiming that Fusion GPS was hired for legal work and not for opposition research, a claim Durham contests.

The Free Beacon reports that many Democrats are souring on Elias for another reason: he is jeopardizing legal tactics that they hope to use in future elections by taking risks that result in those tactics being prohibited by the U.S. Supreme Court[.]

As John Haughey of the Epoch Times reported, Elias admitted on the stand that he had “discretion” to “direct” Fusion GPS:

Elias also joined other witnesses in claiming that he believed Russians were attacking the Clinton campaign, and added that he was outraged at a comment Trump made about it in July 2016:

That comment, which was a joke, provided the trigger for Obama administration law enforcement and intelligence officials to open an investigation into alleged “Russian collusion” with Trump. Special Counsel Robert Mueller conducted a two-year investigation and found there had been no such collusion.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

Photo: file

Correction: The FBI’s James Baker was incorrectly identified as Peter Baker. The error has been removed.

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