DNC Suit Alleges 'Unprecedented Treachery' From Trump Campaign

Complaint says Trump associates 'gleefully' welcomed Russia's help in tilting election
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2018 12:30 PM CDT
In this March 6, 2017, file photo, DNC Chairman Tom Perez speaks at a protest in Washington.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

(Newser) – It was a "brazen attack on US soil" during the 2016 election, claims the Democratic National Committee—and now it's suing the Russian government, WikiLeaks, and Donald Trump's campaign for "unprecedented treachery." The Washington Post reports the DNC filed its complaint Friday in New York federal court, alleging a conspiracy in which the defendants worked in tandem to shift the election win to 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," DNC Chair Tom Perez said in a statement, per the New York Times. "If the occupant of the Oval Office won't protect our democracy, Democrats will." The complaint alleges that the Russian government and its military spy agency hacked DNC servers, and that the Trump campaign "gleefully welcomed Russia's help."

The suit goes so far as to say Trump associates conspired with Russian agents "to promote … Trump's candidacy through illegal means." Trump himself isn't listed as a defendant, though his oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., is, as well as son-in-law Jared Kushner, campaign head Paul Manafort, Trump ally Roger Stone, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and campaign aides Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos. Although the DNC complaint presents legal snarls, including the protections many nations wield against US lawsuits, the committee is reaching all the way back to Watergate for precedent, noting that Russia shouldn't enjoy sovereign immunity 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," per the complaint.

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