VIRGINIA – Terry McAuliffe’s campaign efforts managed to draw some scrutiny after reportedly spending almost $60,000 on a high-profile attorney renowned for orchestrating election-related court challenges.

According to emails seemingly sent to Fox News by mistake, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate’s campaign team tried to “kill” the story after Fox News reached out to the campaign for comment on the onboarding of the aforementioned attorney.


Within under a month before election day in Virginia, McAuliffe’s campaign reportedly spent $53,680 on the services from the Elias Law Group, a firm started by Marc Elias in August of 2021 after he left Perkins Coie.

If the Perkins Coie law firm rings a bell – it’s because it’s the same firm hired by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign – and it was Elias who was also involved in bringing on Fusion GPS to conduct opposition research for the Clinton campaign at the time.


Elias was sanctioned back in March of this year while representing Democrats challenging a Texas law prohibiting “straight ticket voting” going into the 2020 election. The attorney was sanctioned after reportedly filing a motion this past February that the courts found to be “nearly identical” to a September 2020 filed motion that had already been denied.

Outside of running afoul of ethical standards in motions filed, Elias was also accused of having a “serious conflict of interest” regarding his representation of Iowa Democratic candidate Rita Hart – which Hart was attempting to overturn the election results of a narrow loss to Republican Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks.

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Republicans within the House Administration Committee noted that Elias bore a conflict of interest as he was still working with Perkins Coie at the time, which he and the firm in question happened to have represented at least half of the Democratic committee members who were tasked with deciding the case involving Hart.

Needless to say, McAuliffe’s campaign being in bed with the likes of Elias is not the greatest of looks.

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So when Fox News reached out to McAuliffe spokesperson Christina Freundlich for comment on the story, Freundlich responded to the email from Fox News with a message that appears to have been likely intended for her colleagues that read:

“Can we try to kill this?”

Freundlich then appeared to have responded to an internal email that Fox News didn’t receive, but she still had Fox News copied on her replies, where she wrote:

“To dispute the challenges of the election.”

Outside of said seemingly erroneous replies to Fox News, Freundlich never delivered an official statement regarding the McAuliffe campaign bringing on such a controversial attorney.

Criminal defense attorney and Shapiro Chair for Public Interest Law at The George Washington University Law School Jonathan Turley took to Twitter to point out the controversial nature of Elias being hired by McAuliffe’s campaign:

“McAuliffe may be preparing to challenge any win by Republican Glenn Youngkin. He has given $53,680 to the Elias Law Group.  McAuliffe does not appear disturbed by Elias’ highly controversial career or his possible exposure in the Durham investigation.”

“There are a host of election lawyers but McAuliffe selected an attorney accused of lying to the media, advancing rejected conspiracy theories, and currently involved in a major federal investigation that has already led to the indictment of his former partner.”