Turley, a liberal Democrat who teaches law at George Washington University, is taking on Elias as the latter attempts to have two congressional races overturned in which Republican candidates won by narrow margins.
In one case, in New York’s 22nd congressional district, Elias is
using arguments about faulty voting machines similar to those used by President Donald Trump’s campaign — arguments that Elias resisted, and that Democrats otherwise cite as evidence of “insurrection.”
Turley noted last week that Elias had attacked him for referring to Trump’s claims about Dominion voting machines:
Elias attacked me when I raised a controversy related to [a] district using the Dominion system where thousands of Trump votes were initially recorded for Biden. I noted in the interview that this was
purely “human error” and that there is no evidence of system fraud or anything that would change the outcome of the election. Nevertheless, Elias attacked me for referring the controversy (which was to be raised in court) as outrageous.
Now, Elias is using similar claims, Turley
noted, adding that Elias’s hypocrisy recalled his behavior during the investigations into the “Russia dossier” in 2017. The “dossier” was compiled by opposition research firm Fusion GPS, and alleged that Trump had corrupt ties to Russia. It also suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin had compromising information on Trump, such as a claim that he had paid prostitutes to urinate on a bed on which President Barack Obama had slept.
The “dossier” was given to the FBI, which used it to justify surveillance on the Trump campaign during the investigation into “Russia collusion” that marred the Trump presidency.
Ultimately, the “dossier” was proven to be a forgery, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller would conclude that there was no evidence of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. But the conspiracy theory damaged the Trump presidency and divided the country.
Elias’s firm, Perkins Coie, was the conduit for money flowing from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee to Fusion GPS — though that fact was hidden from the Federal Election Commission. The
Washington Post exposed Elias’s role in October 2017.
noted at the time that Elias had sat next to his client, former Clinton campaign chair John Podesta told Congress that he did not know of any involvement by the Clinton campaign in the “dossier.” Elias knew the truth, but did not say anything. Turley observed:
No one was charged for making false statements [to Congress] in the interview. Likewise, while legal blogs have called for disbarments of Trump lawyers for making false statements, there is no call to determine if Elias should face similar scrutiny and whether, as alleged, he lied about the funding of the dossier or assisted others in making such false or misleading statements.
In response, Elias attacked Turley on Twitter as a “moron” and said that his students should have their tuition refunded:
Elias had also
attacked Turley on Twitter during the latter’s testimony at the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment inquiry into President Trump in 2019.