The USA National Democratic Committee sues Trump campaign, WikiLeaks, Russia over election interference

Ioana Erdei 20/04/2018 | 22:54

The Democratic National Committee sued Russia, the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks claiming widespread interference in the 2016 election as part of a “brazen attack on American democracy, according to Bloomberg.”

The civil lawsuit could force President Donald Trump’s 2016 staffers to answer questions under oath about campaign activities. Evidence gathered by the DNC could be made public in court filings and at a trial — in contrast to information obtained through Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference, which might not be publicly disclosed.

Many of the allegations reflect conclusions of major U.S. intelligence agencies and comes from guilty pleas and legal filings by Mueller, who is investigating links between Russia and the Trump campaign. The suit names close Trump associates including Jared Kushner, Roger Stone and Donald Trump Jr., along with several prosecuted by Mueller, signaling the DNC intends to cast a wide net.

The suit is being filed now because the DNC learned in April 2016 that it had been hacked and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act has a two-year statute of limitations, a person with direct knowledge of the case said. The person, who asked not to be identified, said it wasn’t filed earlier because the committee and its lawyers have been engaged in a lengthy information-gathering process.

The complaint, filed Friday in Manhattan federal court, includes claims of computer fraud, trespass and racketeering and seeks unspecified damages, along with a declaration that the Trump campaign, Russia and WikiLeaks conspired to steal information. The White House didn’t have an immediate comment.

Beginning in mid-2016, WikiLeaks released almost 20,000 emails from inside the DNC that showed, among other things, how DNC staffers had favored Hillary Clinton during her primary campaign against Bernie Sanders — prompting Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida to resign as the committee head. Later in the campaign, WikiLeaks released tens of thousands of emails from the Gmail account of John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman.

 

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