Today the Democratic National Committe filed a lawsuit alleging a conspiracy between Trump campaign officials and the Russian government and Wikileaks. The multi-million dollar complaint alleges Wikileaks and Russian military intelligence conspired with the Trump campaign to hack DNC computer networks and release stolen materials in an attempt to harm the candidacy of Hillary Clinton and elevate that of Donald Trump’s.
Donald Trump is not named as a defendant in the complaint, but his son, Donnie Jr, and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, are. Two other legally embattled defendants close to the Trump campaign are also named as defendants, Paul Manafort and Richard Gates, as well as, Roger Stone, Julian Assange, and GRU (Russian military intelligence). Other notable names in the list of defendants are George Papadopoulos, Joseph Mifsud, and Aras and Emin Agalorov.
“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 Chairman Tom Perez said in a statement.
“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,” he said.
The case asserts that the Russian hacking campaign — combined with Trump associates’ contacts with Russia and the campaign’s public cheerleading of the hacks — amounted to an illegal conspiracy to interfere in the election that caused serious damage to the Democratic Party.
More from WaPo
Suing a foreign country may present legal challenges for the Democrats, in part because other nations have immunity from most U.S. lawsuits. The DNC’s complaint argues Russia is not entitled to the protection because the hack constituted a trespass on the party’s private property.
The lawsuit argues that Russia is not entitled to sovereign immunity in this case because “the DNC claims arise out of Russia’s trespass on to the DNC’s private servers…in order to steal trade secrets and commit economic espionage.”
Interestingly, this lawsuit mirrors a 1972 action by the DNC which sought $1 million in damages from Nixon’s reelection campaign for the break-in at the Watergate DNC headquarters. The suit was ultimately successful, a $750,000 settlement being reached the day Nixon left office.
Why It Matters:
All Americans should be concerned at the prospect that a foreign government interfered in our electoral process. One of the biggest concerns our founders had was the thought of a US President being under foreign influence. They knew that would be a threat against the ideals of America, and ultimately, the safety of every American. It should not matter to us if the guy (or gal) accused of conspiring with Russia is wearing a Red jersey or a Blue jersey. Both should be held to the highest level of accountability.