DNC Sues Trump Campaign, Russia and Wikileaks for 'Disrupting' 2016 Election
The latest lawsuit pertaining to the contentious 2016 presidential election was announced this week.
This time, the Democratic Party has filed a multi-million dollar complaint against multiple parties accused of a conspiracy to disrupt the election.
According to CNBC, the Democratic National Committee named entities including Wikileaks, the Russian Federation and the Trump campaign, in addition to multiple individual defendants.
Though Department of Justice special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian involvement has not yet concluded, the Democrats’ suit alleges that the Trump campaign — and some of its most recognizable figures — provided a “willing and active partner” to the hostile foreign government.
President Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, are among the individuals named by the DNC in the lawsuit announced Friday.
Among the other individuals named as defendants in the suit are several Trump campaign officials and advisers: Paul Manafort, Richard Gates and Roger Stone.
A Russian hacker known as Guccifer 2.0 and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange were also listed in addition to 10 unnamed defendants.
As alleged in the complaint, Russia hatched a plan for “a brazen attack on American Democracy,” which was then incubated by forces within the Trump campaign.
An underlying incentive to cooperate with the Russians was the promise that the scheme would “bolster Trump and denigrate” Hillary Clinton, his Democratic rival.
Furthermore, Democrats claim that principle figures within Trump’s inner circle were compromised by their own personal interactions with powerful Russian citizens.
The plaintiffs claim these relationships “provided fertile ground” for the alleged “conspiracy” described in the suit.
As for the Russians, the suit claims that Trump was the favored candidate because his “policies would benefit the Kremlin.”
Describing some of the behavior that led to the suit, the DNC said the “opening salvo” was an attack “carried out on American soil” by Russian hackers.
“In 2015 and 2016, Russian intelligence services hacked into the DNC’s computers, penetrated its phone systems and exfiltrated tens of thousands of documents and emails,” the plaintiffs wrote.
JUST IN: Democratic National Committee files lawsuit against Russia, Trump campaign and Wikileaks, and others "for their brazen attack on our democracy, including the DNC hack and dissemination of stolen documents." https://t.co/uXFTVuh8lQ pic.twitter.com/GlaSf00iPP
— ABC News (@ABC) April 20, 2018
With that data in its possession, the suit claims Russia set out to further its plan of “destabilizing the U.S. political environment, denigrating Democratic presidential nominee, and supporting the campaign of Donald J. Trump … whose policies would benefit the Kremlin.”
While the Washington Post noted that Democrats will face some hurdles in their attempt to sue foreign governments and organizations, the specific claims against both Russia and Wikileaks might address some of those potential pitfalls.
The foreign defendants are accused of trespassing on private property in America, namely the computers used to store sensitive DNC data.
A legal concept known as sovereign immunity does not apply in this case, the defendants argue, because the conspiracy described in the suit stemmed from “Russia’s trespass on to the DNC’s private servers … in order to steal trade secrets and commit economic espionage.”
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