Democrats sue Trump campaign, Russia over 2016 election loss
Iran Press TV
Fri Apr 20, 2018 09:49PM
The US Democratic National Committee (DNC) has sued President Donald Trump's campaign, the Russian government and the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks over an alleged conspiracy to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Manhattan on Friday, alleges that the campaign "gleefully accepted Russia's help" to defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.
The defendants conspired before the election to hack into the DNC's computer network and disclose the stolen information to increase Trump's chances of winning the election, it adds.
Among the key defendants in the suit are the Russian Federation, Russia's military intelligence agency as well as WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange.
Although it does not name Trump as a defendant, the suit has the names of individuals either presently or previously in his inner circle, including Donald Trump Jr., his son-in-law, White House adviser Jared Kushner, longtime adviser Roger Stone and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
The conspiracy aimed to undercut Clinton's campaign because Trump's presidency was expected to bring benefit to Russian political and financial interests, which would, in turn, benefit Trump's financial interests, the lawsuit notes.
"We're taking this action because we believe no one is above the law, and we must pursue every avenue of justice against those who engaged in this illegal activity against the DNC and our democracy," the DNC said in a statement.
The Trump campaign, in response, said the lawsuit is "frivolous" and "without merit," describing it "a last-ditch effort to substantiate the baseless Russian collusion allegations."
The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount of damages and requests a jury trial, with the DNC saying that it paid over $1 million in the fallout of the hack to fix electronic equipment and employ additional staff.
In May 2017, Trump fired James Comey, the then FBI director, in the midst of an ongoing investigation into Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election, before and after Trump's inauguration.
The firing of Comey set off a scramble at the Justice Department that led to the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation.
Mueller's probe has expanded to include whether Trump obstructed justice by firing Comey, a claim the president denies.
Both Trump and Russia have rejected accusations that they coordinated an effort to help defeat Clinton.
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