The Democratic National Committee on Friday filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit accusing the Trump campaign of colluding with WikiLeaks and the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
The Washington Post reports that the lawsuit, which was filed in a federal district court in Manhattan, claims that Trump’s campaign encouraged Russia to illegally hack the emails of Democrats, while also conspiring to help Russian agents spread and disseminate the leaked communications.
“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 announcing the lawsuit. “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 lawsuit does not name Trump as a defendant. Instead, it names people within the Trump campaign who were known to have had contacts with Russian officials who promised them dirt on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, such as Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and George Papadopoulos.
Also named in the suit is Roger Stone, a longtime Trump ally and right-wing “dirty trickster” who boasted of communicating directly with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during the 2016 presidential campaign — but who now insists that he was merely “joking” about such contacts.
The Post notes that the Democrats will likely have a hard time succeeding in this lawsuit since the Russian government is not subject to American laws. However, it says that the DNC filed a similar lawsuit against former President Richard Nixon during the Watergate investigation, which eventually resulted in a $750,000 settlement from the Nixon campaign.