Sen. Bill Nelson Hires Perkins Coie/Trump Dossier Attorney Marc Elias to Handle Florida Recount
Florida Senator Marco Rubio charged in a series of tweets Thursday afternoon that liberal lawyers are "descending on" the state in a calculated effort to "change the results" and "steal" races for Senate, governor, and agriculture commissioner.
Marc Elias, the Perkins Coie attorney who retained the services of Fusion GPS in 2016 to produce the discredited anti-Trump dossier at the behest of the Clinton campaign and the DNC, is one of those lawyers.
Elias retained the shady opposition research firm Fusion GPS in April 2016, the Washington Post reported last fall, after the attorney had “vigorously” denied his involvement with the anti-Trump dossier for a full year.
Commenting on the Washington Post exclusive, Vogel wrote: “When I tried to report this story, Clinton campaign lawyer @marceelias pushed back vigorously, saying ‘You (or your sources) are wrong.'” Maggie Haberman, of the New York Times, shared the Post bombshell story and wrote on Twitter, “Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year.”
Perkins Coie hired Fusion GPS, which in turn hired former British spy Christopher Steele to dig up dirt on then-candidate Trump. Steele went on to share his dubious findings with the FBI, which used the information to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
Now Elias is spearheading Sen. Bill Nelson’s recount efforts in Florida and has already predicted that Nelson will emerge victorious.
After Republicans Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis declared victory in their respective Senate and governor's races on election night, Democrat election supervisors in Broward and Palm Beach counties said they weren't yet done tallying up the votes.
"Florida law requires counties report early voting & vote-by-mail within 30 minutes after polls close," Rubio complained on Twitter. "43 hours after polls closed 2 Democrat strongholds #BrowardCounty & #PalmBeachCounty are still counting & refusing to disclose how many ballots they have left to count."
"Broward election supervisor's ongoing violation of Florida law requiring timely reporting isn’t just annoying incompetence. It has opened the door for lawyers to come here & try to steal a seat in the U.S. Senate & Florida Cabinet," Rubio tweeted.
Elias declared on a conference call Thursday morning that Nelson will be "preparing for a fourth term in Washington" by the end of the month, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
"At the end of this process Sen. Nelson is going to prevail," Elias said. "I am very measured in how I treat what I say. When I say it is currently a jump ball… I mean that."
Elias thinks that either a machine problem in certain precincts or marking issues on the ballot led to thousands of uncounted votes in the Senate race.
If that's the case, Elias said he expects those issues will be remedied in a recount, in which case Nelson is likely to further narrow the gap, given where this occurred.
Scott campaign spokesman Chris Hartline called Elias a “hired gun,” the Orlando Sentinel reported. “For Bill Nelson, the task is getting the ‘win’ …no matter what. Let's be clear: When Elias says ‘win,’ he means ‘steal.’ It is sad and embarrassing that Bill Nelson would resort to these low tactics after the voters have clearly spoken,” Hartline said.
In Broward, [County Elections Supervisor Brenda] Snipes said she had no comment but added that most of the counting was complete.
Nelson trailed Scott by about 15,000 votes, a margin of 0.18 points. A hand recount of ballots, longer and more thorough than a machine recount, is triggered if the margin falls below 0.25 points.
Gillum trailed DeSantis by about 36,000 votes, or 0.44 percentage points, as of Thursday night. A recount is automatically triggered if the margin drops below 0.5 points.
Meanwhile, Democrat Nikki Fried took the lead over Republican Matt Caldwell by 564 votes in the race for agriculture commissioner, which is also headed to a manual recount.
On Fox News Thursday night, Rubio said Democrat lawyers admitted during a press conference that they weren't there just to conduct a recount, but to win the elections for the Democrats.
"Fox and Friends" host Brian Kilmeade, filling in for Tucker Carlson, pointed out Marc Elias' involvement in the process, exclaiming that "we're back in the dossier conversation!"
Attorneys for Rick Scott on Thursday filed a lawsuit in the 17th Judicial Circuit against the Broward elections supervisor.
The lawsuit demands access to public records in an effort to know how many ballots have been cast, how many have been counted and how many ballots remain to be counted. Snipes maintains that she does not have this information.
Earlier this year, a judge found that Snipes had "illegally destroyed ballots in a 2016 congressional contest, leading the governor's office to assign election monitors to supervise her," Fox News reported.