A top lawyer for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) strongly condemned the anti-Semitic rhetoric of Louis Farrakhan, saying that anyone who is unable to condemn Farrakhan is "clearly and unequivocally" not part of the Democratic Party, despite the fact that the DNC itself has remained silent on Farrakhan.
"Louis Farrakhan is an virulent anti-Semite who should be condemned by all. Period," tweeted Marc Elias, a top lawyer for the DNC and many Democratic politicians, on March 2. Five days later—when Farrakhan, the head of the Nation of Islam, stated the "FBI has been the worst enemy of Black advancement" and "Jews have control over those agencies of government"—Elias again took to Twitter to condemn Farrakhan.
"Farrakhan is a vile anti-Semite. Period," Elias said. "There is no context or explanation. If you are unable to say this clearly and unequivocally then you are not part of the same party or movement that I have fought my entire life to support."
Elias, a partner at the Washington, D.C., office of the Perkins Coie law firm, represents the DNC, which has yet to publicly address or condemn Farrakhan since the controversial leader resurfaced in recent weeks following his rhetoric and the revelation of his ties to at least seven Democratic politicians.
The DNC has paid Perkins Coie more than $3 million this election cycle, according to Federal Election Commission records.
Elias did not return a request for comment on the DNC's silence on Farrakhan by press time. The DNC also did not return a request for comment on Elias's comments, nor did it say if it will disavow Farrakhan's rhetoric.
In addition to the DNC, two Democratic politicians with ties to Farrakhan also pay Perkins Coie for legal services.
The campaign committee of Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.), the deputy chair of the DNC, has paid $14,527.30 in legal fees to Perkins Coie this election cycle, filings show. From 2012 to 2016, Ellison's committee made a total of $8,739.30 in payments to the firm.
Ellison has claimed he has "no relationship" with Farrakhan and that his "political opponents keep pushing this out there" to smear him and distract from other issues. Ellison received "Four Pinocchios" from the Washington Post for the statement.
Rep. Gregory Meeks (D., N.Y), another Democratic politician with links to Farrakhan, has paid Perkins Coie $27,386 for "legal services" this election cycle. The committee has paid Perkins Coie more than $200,000 between the 2012 and 2016 cycles.
Meeks issued a statement condemning the anti-Semitic leader following unflattering news stories and media outrage. "Farrakhan's anti-Semitic messages are upsetting & unacceptable," Meeks tweeted. "I always condemn hate speech of any kind."
The Nation of Islam has since called Meeks a sellout for bowing to public pressure.
Other Democrats with ties to Farrakhan include Reps. Maxine Waters (Calif.), Barbara Lee (Calif.), Danny Davis (Ill.), Andre Carson (Ind.), and Al Green (Texas).