Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris’ campaign has hired former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Marc Elias who is known for hiring Fusion GPS to conduct opposition research in 2016, The Washington Examiner reported.
Elias serves as chair of Perkins Coie Political Law practice and was appointed general counsel by Harris’ presidential campaign earlier this year.
During his time fulfilling the same role in the failed 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, Elias hired commercial research firm Fusion GPS.
The company was responsible for hiring former British MI6 spy Christopher Steele to produce an unverified dossier about then-candidate Donald Trump.
The dossier was allegedly compiled using sources close to the Kremlin and later fuelled the Russian collusion narrative.
In 2017, former Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said that he had signed off on Elias hiring an outside company to find a connection between the Trump campaign and Russia.
“And so, I asked our lawyer and I gave him a budget allocation to investigate this, particularly the international aspect,” he told Anderson Cooper.
U.K. court documents revealed that Steele was paid $168,000 by Fusion GPS to compile the dossier, Fox News reported in March 2018.
The Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee paid almost $1.8 million to Fusion GPS, through the Perkins Coie law firm, for intelligence on Trump and his campaign associates.
Elias is also named in two Federal Election Commission complaints and a federal lawsuit for his involvement in hiring Fusion GPS.
As well as the part he played in the disproved Trump-Russia conspiracy theory, Elias has played a key role at the top levels of the Democratic Party for many years.
He previously served as general counsel for Sen. John Kerry’s presidential run in 2004 and represented the Democratic National Committee, the Governors Association and a number of Congressional Campaign Committees.
Brian Fallon, press secretary for the 2016 Clinton campaign, defended Elias saying he is “one of the most skilled professionals in Democratic politics.”
“I am damn glad he pursued this on behalf of our campaign and only regret more of this material was not verified in time for the voters to learn it before the election,” he added, in reference to the Steele dossier.
Elias’ involvement is a sign that the Harris campaign is being taken seriously.
Harris performed well in the first Democratic presidential debates. The natural frontrunner, former Vice President Joe Biden, recently received his lowest polling numbers in a Q poll, beating Harris by just two percent.
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