Posted: 11:54 am Friday, April 20th, 2018
By Staff Writer
The legal fight over the 2016 elections expanded further on Friday, as the Democratic National Committee filed a wide-ranging lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s campaign, top aides, one of Mr. Trump’s sons, his son-in-law, the Russian government, and others caught up in the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 race for the White House.
The 66 page lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of New York, where an FBI raid recently took place on the President’s personal lawyer, alleges a broad conspiracy involving Russia, its intelligence service, and members of the Trump inner circle, like former campaign manager Paul Manafort.
“No one is above the law,” the lawsuit begins. “In the Trump Campaign, Russia found a willing and active partner in this effort.”
DNC lawsuit accuses Trump campaign, Russia of a conspiracy that "constituted an act of previously unimaginable treachery."
— Steven Portnoy (@stevenportnoy) April 20, 2018
The charges cover everything from racketeering, conspiracy, computer fraud, trespass, and more, claiming the hacking effort was a coordinated effort with the Trump Campaign, designed to damage the bid of Hillary Clinton for the White House.
Along with the Russian government and intelligence service known as the GRU, the Democratic lawsuit names Julian Assange and Wikileaks, the Trump Campaign, Donald Trump, Jr., Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Jared Kushner, and two campaign aides who have already agreed to help the Russia investigation, George Papadopoulos and Richard Gates.
The document did not seem to make public any brand new details about how the hacking occurred at the DNC or with members of the Clinton campaign.
In the lawsuit, Democrats charge “Russia’s cyberattack on the DNC began only weeks after Trump announced his candidacy for President,” in June 2015.
“In April 2016, another set of Russian intelligence agents successfully hacked into the DNC, saying that “massive amounts of data” were taken from DNC servers.
The lawsuit makes no mention of the FBI warning to the DNC that it was being hacked, and how that was ignored for weeks by officials at DNC headquarters in Washington.
If the lawsuit actually goes forward, it would not only involve evidence being gathered from those being challenged by the Democrats – but some made clear it could open the DNC hacking response to a further review as well in terms of discovery.
Rather than presenting new evidence, the lawsuit was more of a summary of facts and charges involved so far in the Russia investigation being conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
So far, the investigation has netted four guilty pleas, including three people who worked on the Trump Campaign.
The filing of the lawsuit came a day after the Justice Department released contemporaneous memos from former FBI Director James Comey about his meetings and phone calls with President Trump in early 2017.
In a Friday morning tweet from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, the President denounced Comey and the Russia probe.
“James Comey Memos just out and show clearly that there was NO COLLUSION and NO OBSTRUCTION,” the President wrote. “Also, he leaked classified information. WOW! Will the Witch Hunt continue?”