Russiagate Law Firm Behind Suit To Get De-Facto Mail-In Balloting in Minnesota

Only days after Democrats attempted unsuccessfully to get mail-in balloting in the legislature, a suit has been filed in the Ramsey County District Court to get de-facto mail-in balloting in Minnesota. 

Steve Simon

Only days after Democrats attempted unsuccessfully to get mail-in balloting in the legislature, a suit has been filed in the Ramsey County District Court to get de-facto mail-in balloting in Minnesota. 

The suit names Democratic Secretary of State Steve Simon as defendant—even though Simon desires the same outcome as the plaintiffs. The primary plaintiff is the Minnesota Alliance for Retired Americans Educational Fund, the local chapter of a political action group based out of D.C., the Alliance for Retired Americans (ARA). The ARA is a prominent leftwing and union-linked group that supports Democratic causes across the United States. Another plaintiff is a 24-year-old Yale Law School student.

Yet Minnesota’s corporate media has already distorted the organized nature of this effort. The Star Tribune ran a headline titled “Older Minnesota voters file suit to change absentee voting rules.” 

Although the suit attempts to cloak itself in humanitarian terms, the suit isn’t asking the court to strike down Minnesota’s law only for at-risk persons. Instead, the suit seeks to circumvent the legislature and achieve mail-in voting.

Specifically, the suit wants to strike down Minnesota law requiring that absentee voters get a registered voter or a notary public to sign their ballot, and allow votes to be counted after the election day if the letter is postmarked prior to a certain deadline. A similar suit has been filed by the League of Women Voters, also with backing from a D.C.-based leftwing group. Yet another suit filed earlier this year by the Democrat’s national Congressional and Senate campaign committees seeks to strike down Minnesota law disallowing 3rd party ballot collecting—or ballot harvesting—in the state.  

If successful, these suits would allow ballot harvesting of mail-in ballots, where political groups could collect masses of ballots that were filled out without a required witness or secondary signature.  

The DNC and Clinton campaign lawyer behind the suit

The suit is part of a broader effort in at least 16 states by The National Redistricting Foundation, a Democrat group headed by the Obama administration’s former attorney general, Eric Holder. Similar suits have been filed in other swing states like Florida and Pennsylvania. The suits are being funded by Priorities USA, a Democratic Super-PAC.

A Wall Street Journal headline from April read: “Biden Campaign Indicates Priorities USA Is Preferred Super PAC—Nod from the presumptive Democratic nominee sends a message to top donors on where to focus contributions.”

The suit in Pennsylvania is similar to the ones in Minnesota. It seeks to mandate mail-in ballots, allow ballots to come in after election day, and overturn Pennsylvania law against ballot harvesting.

Even more stunning, the lawsuits are being run by Perkins Coie attorney Marc Elias, who was both the chief counsel to the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in the 2016 presidential election. 

Marc Elias and another Perkins Coie partner, Michael Sussmann, hired the opposition-research firm Fusion GPS to try to create ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. This led to Fusion GPS paying money to former British spook Christopher Steele, who paid money to anonymous Russian sources—via a British national with ties to Russia named Edward Baumgartner—to come up with the allegations in the so-called “Steele dossier.” That same dossier was used by the intelligence agencies, run by the Obama administration, to spy on the Trump campaign and the Trump transition team.

In another instance, Democrat lawyers Elias and Sussmann directly worked to plant now-debunked stories in the media about a server in Trump tower communicating with Russia’s Alfa Bank.

MVA’s letter to Ellison

In response, the Minnesota Voters Alliance (MVA) has sent a letter to Minnesota attorney general Keith Ellison. The letter warns Ellison that if he doesn’t mount a proper defense to the lawsuit, MVA will lawyer-up and intervene:

“In the two ongoing Ramsey County District Court cases, progressive plaintiffs are trying to invalidate Minnesota statutes banning felons from voting until restored to civil rights and regulating surgical abortions, respectively, as violations of the Minnesota Constitution.  Your Office could have obtained dismissals of these cases by filing the defense of no private cause of action—which means Minnesota’s sovereign immunity from lawsuits applies because the Constitution and Minnesota statutes do not allow such lawsuits.  You did not raise this defense even though townships, cities, counties, and even the Attorney General’s Office have prevailed on this defense in case-after-case-after-case.”

MVA’s president, Andy Cilek, continues in his letter to Ellison:

“Your determination to expose valid Minnesota statutes to legal risk by political attorneys from outside the state goes even beyond the failure to raise a fundamental, winning defense.  You are now in court opposing attempts by the Minnesota Voters Alliance and other non-profits to intervene in these two cases for the purpose of correcting your willful neglect. 

If you continue to ignore your Constitutional duties and obligations, you will leave the MVA with no choice but to seek counsel to once again file an intervenor plea to force your office to avail itself of the law.  If a group or groups wish to change Minnesota law, there is a method to do so through the legislative process.  The judiciary is not the arena in which to circumvent the will of the people of Minnesota even if it is a cause that you personally approve.  The Minnesota Attorney General’s office is not to be used as a vehicle to forego the Constitutional separation of powers to obtain any particular Attorney General’s personal political agenda.”

Willis Krumholz
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Willis L. Krumholz is a fellow at Defense Priorities. He holds a JD and MBA degree from the University of St. Thomas, and works in the financial services industry. The views expressed are those of the author only. You can follow Willis on Twitter @WillKrumholz.