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National
Democrats sue Trump campaign, Russian government, WikiLeaks for alleged election conspiracy
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Democrats sue Trump campaign, Russian government, WikiLeaks for alleged election conspiracy

Democrats sue Trump campaign, Russian government, WikiLeaks for alleged election conspiracy
Photo Credit: Olivier Douliery - Pool/Getty Images
U.S President Donald Trump looks on during a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the Oval Office of the White House on June 30, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Democrats sue Trump campaign, Russian government, WikiLeaks for alleged election conspiracy

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.

>> Read more trending news

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.

>> Read the lawsuit

“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. 

>> Related: WikiLeaks emails: FBI investigates, Podesta claims he was targeted by Russian hackers

"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."

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.”

>> Related: Julian Assange: WikiLeaks source was 'not the Russian government'

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.

>> From Jamie Dupree: Democratic Party sues Trump campaign, WikiLeaks, Russia, others over 2016 elections

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.

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The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

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  • Even as lawyers for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford negotiated with the Senate Judiciary Committee over the terms of her possible testimony later this week, a series of possible corroborating witnesses did not back up Ford’s allegations that she was sexually assaulted by Judge Brett Kavanaugh at a party in the 1980’s, raising questions about her explosive claims which have delayed consideration of Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination. “Dr. Christine Ford claimed she was assaulted at a house party attended by four others,” said White House spokesperson Kerri Kupec. “Since then, all four of these individuals have provided statements to the Senate Judiciary Committee denying any knowledge of the incident or even having attended such a party.” “These official letters from the 4 named by Dr Ford — denying any knowledge of what Dr Ford has alleged — serve the same purpose as sworn testimony,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). NEWS: Attorney for Leland Keyser, who Dr Ford says was at the party where the alleged incident with Kavanaugh occurred says “Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford.” pic.twitter.com/l2F0s396IK — Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) September 23, 2018 Also raising questions about the lack of supporting evidence was Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), who tweeted out the phrase “rope-a-dope” on Saturday – a boxing technique made famous by Muhammad Ali in the 1970’s, designed as a way to tire out your opponent. Despite all the reports about an agreement for testimony by Ford, nothing was certain, as the Senate Judiciary Committee was still planning to work with Ford’s legal team on Sunday on the timing of her testimony. It was possible that both Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford would testify on Thursday, as Senate Democrats pressed for a further investigation into Ford’s claim from the early 1980’s. “We must treat Dr. Ford’s allegation against Judge Kavanaugh seriously,” said Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA). “We should not rush this process and hurry to a vote.” As day broke on a chilly, wet morning on Capitol Hill on Sunday, there was still no concrete schedule in place, as GOP Senators were feeling pressure about their votes not only from Democrats, but also from conservative Republican activists. Your sources are not accurate. I will not be voting 'present' https://t.co/EqMGetXmRT — Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) September 23, 2018 But Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) also made it clear he wants to hear more about the situation. “Progress on a Judiciary Committee hearing is being made,” Flake tweeted on Saturday. “This is good.” Republicans had originally planned for a Monday vote on Kavanaugh in the Judiciary Committee – that notice was still up on the committee’s website Sunday morning – as another day of political maneuvering seemed at hand.