Elias—who may have been instrumental in helping secure McAuliffe’s narrow 2013 gubernatorial victory over Republican Ken Cuccinelli—was dubbed “Democrats’ best Election-stealing lawyer” in 2018 by then-President Donald Trump.
McAuliffe hired Elias earlier this year, ostensibly for the purpose of challenging the Virginia gubernatorial results if he loses to Republican opponent Glenn Youngkin.
Both McAuliffe and Youngkin have already pledged to “absolutely” accept the results of the election.
In response to a Fox News request asking for information about McAuliffe’s decision to hire Elias earlier this year, a spokesperson for McAuliffe’s campaign, Christina Freundlich, responded with a message that appears to have been meant for her colleagues.
“Can we try to kill this,” Freundlich wrote.
Fox News reporter: “I am writing a story about the report that McAuliffe hired Marc Elias, potentially to challenge the election results […]”
McAuliffe spoksperson: “Can we try to kill this” pic.twitter.com/buSINd4wRn
— Corey A. DeAngelis (@DeAngelisCorey) October 29, 2021
That has led to speculation that Elias may be a subject of the ongoing investigation being led by Special Counsel John Durham, who recently indicted one of the lawyer’s former Perkins Coie collegues, Michael Sussmann.
McAuliffe also has a habit of questioning the integrity of elections Democrats do not win.
Just last week, he claimed failed Democratic Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams should be governor, and accused Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who beat Abrams, of disenfranchising millions of voters.
“She would be the governor of Georgia today had the governor of Georgia not disenfranchised 1.4 million Georgia voters before the election,” McAuliffe said as he introduced Abrams at a campaign event. “That’s what happened to Stacey Abrams. They took the votes away.”
Freundlich later claimed on Twitter that she was successful in killing Fox’s story:
I think it’s clear based on this story that we did in fact…kill the story https://t.co/rRCEzAL0Kj
— Christina Freundlich (@christinafreund) October 29, 2021
Headline USA’s Ben Sellers contributed to this report.