DNC Sues Trump, WikiLeaks, and Russian Government Over Election Disruption

Saul Bowman
April 21, 2018

The Democratic Party on Friday filed a multimillion-dollar federal lawsuit against Trump campaign officials, the Russian government and WikiLeaks alleging a widespread conspiracy to tilt the 2016 election in Donald Trump's favor.

The 66-page complaint, filed in federal court in the Southern District of NY, claims that senior members of the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government to damage Clinton and seeks financial damages for the alleged hacks of the DNC's servers.

Trump has repeatedly denied his campaign colluded with Russian Federation.

Judge John G. Koeltl, a Clinton appointee, will preside over the case.

Democrats have similarly been critical of President Barack Obama for not doing enough in 2016 to fight back against Russian Federation. The release of stolen materials also impaired the DNC's ability to support Democratic candidates in the general election.

Friday's lawsuit is unrelated to Mueller's probe, but NBC News said that it could force the Trump campaign and Wikileaks to share internal communications about the hack during the discovery process. But the filing strings the publicly available information about the Trump orbit's contact with Russians into a single narrative.

Denying any financial motivation, Perez said in an interview the lawsuit had been taking shape for months, and he recalled facing demands as early as winter 2017 to file suit against Trump for allegedly abetting foreign interference in a US election. "Each defendant knowingly aided, abetted, encouraged, induced, instigated, contributed and assisted" the hack and subsequent publication of the emails, the complaint alleges.

The 66-page lawsuit accuses the Trump campaign of being in cahoots with the Russians.

"How much of this do you think is just a stunt versus a pretty smart ploy for court of public opinion?" asked "CNN Newsroom" anchor Brooke Baldwin.

After the 2016 hack, the DNC spent millions to replace IT equipment, hire outside cybersecurity consultants and otherwise clean up the damage.

The suit does not name Trump as a defendant.

"In the Trump campaign, Russian Federation found a willing and active partner", the suit claims.

The lawsuit comes on the heels of a almost year-long cybersecurity strengthening effort which was the initial internal DNC response to the hack - for fortifying their systems and processes.

The DNC has retained the law firm Cohen-Milstein, which has been involved in settlements for large data breaches in the past, including one against health insurer Anthem, which affected 80 million people. "We are the victims".

In the 66-page lawsuit, the case is laid out for 12 legal violations that largely deal with Russia's alleged involvement in infiltrating U.S. computer systems, the collection of private data that belonged to the DNC, and corporation with third-parties like WikiLeaks to spread the information.

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