A right-leaning election reform outfit on Wednesday denounced the current version of legislation to reform the Electoral Count Act, particularly a provision urged by Democratic election attorney Marc Elias.
The original act was enacted in 1887 to prevent presidential election crises such as that of 1876, during which three states submitted competing groups of electors, forcing Congress to determine how to resolve the count. Ultimately Republican Rutherford B. Hayes emerged victorious over Democrat Samuel Tilden.
The U.S. Supreme Court finally heard oral arguments in Moore v. Harper last week. The case involves a mundane constitutional issue concerning the definition of “legislature” as used in the elections clause. Yet it has produced panic among Democrats and a torrent of portentous predictions about the death of democracy from various leftist law professors. In the Washington Post, for example, Harvard University’s Noah Feldman expressed alarm that the court took up the “insane” case at all.
Is Moore v. Harper really insane? Of course not. The case arose early this year when the North Carolina Supreme Court struck down a redistricting map produced by the state Legislature, then replaced it with a redistricting scheme of its own. The North Carolina General Assembly petitioned SCOTUS for relief on the grounds that this action violated Article I, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution.
The Democratic Party’s top elections attorney and his firm are litigating nearly 50 different post-election cases in 19 states to affect their results, he announced on Sunday night.
Marc Elias, the founder of Elias Law Group, which bills itself as “committed to helping Democrats win, citizens vote, and progressives make change,” announced that it was representing clients in 19 states, for a total of 48 cases. The cases have involved either legal defenses to challenges brought by GOP candidates regarding election issues, or efforts to change election laws in favor of Democratic candidates.
Defying all predictions of a photo finish senate race, Pennsylvania Democrat John Fetterman won 50.3% of the vote to Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz’s 47.3%. The unexpectedly large margin helped avoid a midterm meltdown. But don’t be deceived; that margin masks major electoral system dysfunction that remains unaddressed.
If the margins had been narrower, things might have looked very different. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf last year vetoed a commonsense measure that would have modernized Pennsylvania’s Depression-era voting laws. As a result, the Commonwealth is saddled with a ponderous mail voting system bolted onto a rickety election code that forbids routine practices like voter ID and pre-processing mail ballots. Those policies secure elections and speed tabulations, but were vetoed by Wolf last year.
In the summer before the contentious November 2020 election, the Democrats’ most influential election lawyer, Marc Elias, used the pandemic to urge liberal grassroots groups to press for the deployment of mass drop boxes to collect an expected wave of absentee ballots.
“Local libraries, church groups and civic associations should explore with local election officials setting up secure ballot drop boxes,” he wrote in an op-ed. “There may even be a role for businesses to play in preserving our right to vote through drop box placement and security.”
The indictment of Hillary Clinton lawyer Michael Sussmann for allegedly lying to the FBI sheds new light on the pivotal role of Democratic operatives in the Russiagate affair. The emerging picture shows Sussmann and his Perkins Coie colleague Marc Elias, the chief counsel for Clinton’s 2016 campaign, proceeding on parallel, coordinated tracks to solicit and spread disinformation tying Donald Trump to the Kremlin.
In a detailed charging document last month, Special Counsel John Durham accused Sussmann of concealing his work for the Clinton campaign while trying to sell the FBI on the false claim of a secret Trump backchannel to Russia’s Alfa Bank. But Sussmann’s alleged false statement to the FBI in September 2016 wasn’t all. Just months before, he helped generate an even more consequential Russia allegation that he also brought to the FBI. In April of that year, Sussmann hired CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity firm that publicly triggered the Russiagate saga by lodging the still unproven claim that Russia was behind the hack of Democratic National Committee emails released by WikiLeaks.
White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan figures prominently in a grand jury investigation run by Special Counsel John Durham into an alleged 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign scheme to use both the FBI and CIA to tar Donald Trump as a colluder with Russia, according to people familiar with the criminal probe, which they say has broadened into a conspiracy case.
Sullivan is facing scrutiny, sources say, over potentially false statements he made about his involvement in the effort, which continued after the election and into 2017. As a senior foreign policy adviser to Clinton, Sullivan spearheaded what was known inside her campaign as a “confidential project” to link Trump to the Kremlin through dubious email-server records provided to the agencies, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.