The Democratic National Committee filed a wide-ranging, multimillion-dollar lawsuit Friday against the Russian government, President Donald Trump’s campaign officials and WikiLeaks, alleging the group conspired to meddle in the 2016 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump over Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton.
The 66-page lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of New York, alleges that members of Trump’s inner circle, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and son-in-law Jared Kushner, conspired with Russian government officials and the country’s intelligence service to sway the election for 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 Chairman Tom Perez said in a statement released to The Washington Post. “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 president was not named in the suit, in which Democrats said, "Russia mounted a brazen attack on American Democracy" with a cyberattack on the Democratic National Committee’s servers.
"In 2015 and 2016, Russian intelligence services hacked into the DNC's computers, penetrated its phone systems and exfiltrated tens of thousands of documents and emails," according to the lawsuit.
"Russia then used this stolen information to advance its own interests: destabilizing the U.S. political environment, denigrating the Democratic presidential nominee and supporting the campaign of Donald J. Trump, whose policies would benefit the Kremlin. In the Trump campaign, Russia found a willing and active partner in this effort."
Democratic National Committee files suit against Russia & the Trump Campaign over the 2016 elections https://t.co/KUSy35ANOq— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) April 20, 2018
Democrats said the stolen data was shared with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who released thousands of emails last year that were allegedly taken in a hack of the DNC's servers. The lawsuit alleged Assange shared the emails because he “shared the defendants’ common goal of damaging the Democratic party in advance of the election.”
Assange said in late 2016 that his source for the DNC emails “was not the Russian government.” The Kremlin has denied any involvement in the hack.
Democrats did not mention in their lawsuit that FBI officials warned the DNC that it was being hacked or that officials at DNC headquarters in Washington ignored the warning for weeks, Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree reported.
The suit seeks millions of dollars in damages, as Democrats said the hacks hindered the party’s ability to communicate with voters or effectively operate, according to the Post.
Officials, including special counsel Robert Mueller, continue to investigate whether people who worked on Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign worked with Russian government officials to sway the election. Trump has repeatedly denied collusion allegations. The Kremlin has denied that officials meddled in the election.