With the high level of vitriol still emanating from Democrats over the results of the 2016 presidential election, a lawsuit was inevitable.
And now a suit has been filed in Manhattan by the Democratic National Committee accusing Russia, President Trump, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and others of working together to “undermine” Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
The suit names the Russian Federation; general staff of the armed forces of the Russian Federation; GRU Operative using pseudonym ‘Guccifer 2.0’; Aras Iskenerovich Agalarov; Emin Araz Agalarov; Joseph Mifsud; Wikileaks; Julian Assange; Donald J. Trump for President Inc.; Donald J. Trump Jr.; Paul J. Manafort Jr.; Roger J. Stone Jr.; Jared C. Kushner; George Papadopoulos; Richard W. Gates III; and John Does 1-10.”
It alleges violations of various statutes, including Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, RICO, RICO Conspiracy, Wiretap Act, Stored Communications Act, Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Defend Trade Secrets Act, Uniform Trade Secrets Act, Trespass, conspiracy and Virginia Computer Crimes Act.
The DNC claims that in the Trump campaign, Russia “found a willing and active partner in this effort” to launch “a brazen attack on the 2016 election.”
The lawsuit seeks punitive and compensatory damages, charging the defendants won the 2016 election by illegal means.
CNBC reported the complaint alleges the “common purpose of the scheme” was to “bolster Trump and denigrate the Democratic Party nominee,” Hillary Clinton.
Tom Perez, the DNC chairman, said: “This constituted an act of unprecedented treachery: the campaign of a nominee for president of the United States in league with a hostile foreign power to bolster its own chance to win the presidency.”
The alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia has been under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller for more than a year, but no evidence of collusion has been presented.
Perez said he believes the Russian government notified the Trump campaign in advance that it had stolen Democratic emails and that Russia wanted to support Trump.
“Rather than reporting Russia’s offer to meddle in a U.S. election, the Trump campaign welcomed Russia’s help,” Perez claimed. “Trump’s closest political adviser, Roger Stone, also appeared to have advance knowledge of specific plans by WikiLeaks to disseminate some of this information.”
There is no way to “fully repair the harm” it suffered, the DNC claimed, but it filed a civil complaint “to hold the defendants accountable for their misconduct and to ensure transparency.”
Along with damages it requests an order restraining the defendants from hacking the DNC or “selling, publishing, distributing, or using any property or information obtained.”
The complaint claims that 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.”
“Russia then used this stolen information to advance its own interests: destabilizing the U.S. political environment, denigrating Democratic presidential nominee, and supporting the campaign of Donald J. Trump … whose policies would benefit the Kremlin.”
Wikileaks found Assange has claimed the DNC documents were not delivered to him by Russia.
The lawsuit discusses Trump business dealings dating back decades, including the sale of a property to a Russian in Florida a decade ago.
It also charges Trump with “espousing pro-Russian and pro-Putin views.”