Democrats Sue Trump Campaign, Russia, WikiLeaks Over Alleged 2016 Conspiracy

thomas perez 042018

Democrats have filed a lawsuit against members of President Donald Trump's campaign, the Russian government, and WikiLeaks over an alleged conspiracy to interfere in the 2016 election.

The Democratic National Committee filed the multi-million dollar lawsuit in Manhattan federal court on Friday.

"During the 2016 presidential campaign, Russia launched an all-out assault on our democracy, and it found a willing and active partner in Donald Trump's campaign," DNC Chair Tom Perez said in a statement.

He added, "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 defendants named in the lawsuit include Trump's son Donald Trump Jr., his son-in-law Jared Kushner, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and longtime associate Roger Stone.

The suit claims that a cyberattack on the DNC and the subsequent release of internal party emails was a major part of Russia's attack on American democracy.

The DNC alleges the Trump campaign had repeated secretive communications with Russian agents and WikiLeaks regarding the stolen Democratic emails.

"Rather than reporting Russia's offer to meddle in a U.S. election, the Trump campaign welcomed Russia's help," Perez said.

He added, "Trump's closest political adviser, Roger Stone, also appeared to have advance knowledge of specific plans by WikiLeaks to disseminate some of this information."

The investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election has long been a thorn in the side of the Trump administration, with the president repeatedly bashing the probe as a "witch hunt."

The filing of the lawsuit by the DNC harkens back to 1972, when Democrats sued President Richard Nixon's re-election campaign for damages in connection with the break-in at the party's headquarters in the Watergate building.

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