Still stinging from hacks against organizations associated with the Democrat Party and the effects of a Russian influence campaign during the 2016 presidential election, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) filed a lawsuit Friday in a federal district court in Manhattan against the Trump campaign, WikiLeaks and the Russian government for conspiring to swing the election toward Donald Trump.
“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,” according to a statement from DNC Chairman Tom Perez, who called the efforts “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 multimillion-dollar lawsuit, aimed at members of the Trump campaign, including the president’s son Donald Trump, Jr., details what it calls Russia’s “brazen attack on U.S. soil” and evidence that campaign aides like the younger Trump and former foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos knew that Russia had dirt on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and instead of disclosing it used it to promote Trump’s presidential run, the Washington Post reported Friday.
“Rather than report these repeated messages and communications that Russia intended to interfere in the U.S. election, the Trump campaign and its agents gleefully welcomed Russia’s help,” the complaint said.
Papadopoulos, whose drunken boasting to an Australian diplomat in the U.K. that Russia had damaging information on Clinton likely set in motion the federal probe of the Trump campaign’s potential collusion with Russian operatives, has pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about his meetings with Russia and is cooperating in the investigation.
Information, including email pilfered from DNC hacks, which occurred on July 27, 2015, and April 18, 2016, made their way to WikiLeaks, which published them in a steady trickle during the campaign. Trump confidante Roger Stone, who at one point claimed to be in contact with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange but then stepped back those claims and denied conspiring to help Trump, also is a defendant in the suit.