MacIver News Service | Oct. 25, 2017
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON, Wis – The D.C. lawyer who helped U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s Tomah VA troubles disappear is now caught up in the Russia dossier scandal.
Marc Elias, known in the Swamp one of the left’s major “political fixers,” retained Washington-based Fusion GPS on behalf of Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee to conduct research that resulted in the “now-famous dossier containing allegations about President Trump’s connections to Russia” and alleged coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.
Elias is an attorney for the Clinton campaign.
“….Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community,” reported the Post, citing anonymous sources. “Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, retained the company in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC,” the Post reported.
“The Clinton campaign and the DNC, through the law firm, continued to fund Fusion’s GPS’s research through the end of October 2016, days before Election Day,” sources told the newspaper.
The contents of the dossier have been widely discredited, but that hasn’t stopped the left from pushing its Trump-Russia collusion-corruption narrative.
Elias played the fixer role for Baldwin and her PR mess in the wake the scandal-plagued Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center story in early 2015.
Baldwin’s campaign spent nearly $140,000 on legal advice from Elias and his firm between 2011 and 2016, according to federal documents obtained by this reporter in March. Nearly $90,000 of that was paid out in 2015, at the height of Baldwin’s Tomah troubles.
Baldwin’s campaign cut a check for $41,704 to Elias and his firm on March 27, 2015, and made another payment of $38,558 in May of that year, according to campaign expenditures.
An investigative report in January 2015 found Baldwin and her office failed to do anything with an inspector general’s report detailing the overprescribing of painkillers and other abuses at the medical center. She sat on the report for months and only called for a federal investigation into the VA facility after the investigative piece hit. And Baldwin failed to take seriously whistleblower allegations about the medical facility known as “Candy Land” because of the patient drugging policies that subsequent investigations confirmed.
The junior U.S. senator, facing re-election next year, canned top aide Marquette Baylor, who led Baldwin’s Milwaukee constituent services office.
Baylor fought back, filing a complaint in April 2015 with the Senate Select Committee on Ethics. She claimed Baldwin orchestrated a cover-up. Baldwin attempted to buy Baylor’s silence with a severance package and accompanying confidentiality agreement, Baylor claimed. The fired aide wouldn’t take the “hush money.”
The Ethics committee eventually dismissed the complaints.
Baldwin has yet to disclose how much money she offered Baylor in the severance package, despite concerns about how the payout would be funded.
“After the pubic outcry, Senator Baldwin immediately sought to place the blame squarely on me,” Baylor stated in her complaint. “(Baldwin) instructed her Chief of Staff, Bill Murat, to fly to Milwaukee, fire me, and offer me a severance package that required me to stay quiet. Murat then moved into damage control, meeting with individuals in Wisconsin and telling them that the inaction was my fault.”
And then “the fixer” came in.
He hit Baylor with everything he had in public statements.
“Marquette Baylor was terminated because her long-term performance on a range of issues did not meet with the senator’s expectations for effective constituent service,” Elias told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in February 2015. “As deputy state director for constituent services her handling of the problems at the Tomah VA was only one of those issues.”
And now Elias is at the center of the Russian dossier scandal. The fixer’s credibility is being called into question once again.
Two New York Times reporters on Wednesday called out Elias for what appears to be his false denials of the Democrats’ involvement.
“When I tried to report this story, Clinton campaign lawyer @marceelias (Marc Elias) pushed back vigorously, saying ‘You (or your sources) are wrong,” Times reporter Kenneth Vogel tweeted.
Here’s the question: If Elias lied about the dossier scandal, did he lie about Baylor, and Baldwin’s involvement in Tomah?