Democrats slam Trump, Russia with lawsuit

DNC files federal lawsuit against Russia Trump campaign and associatesSHARE:sharetweetshareemail

DNC files federal lawsuit against Russia Trump campaign and associatesSHARE:sharetweetshareemail

The complaint, filed in Manhattan federal court, accuses top Trump campaign officials of engaging with the Russian Federation government in a plot to hack into Democratic servers and damage Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Chairman Tom Perez said in a statement that "Russia launched an all-out assault on our democracy, and it found a willing and active partner in Donald Trump's campaign". "This constituted an act of unprecedented treachery".

The Democrats accused Trump's campaign of being "a racketeering enterprise" that worked with the Russians and WikiLeaks in a conspiracy that included hacking email servers at the DNC and leaking damaging information to the public.

A lawsuit filed by Democrats alleging a conspiracy between the Trump campaign, Russian Federation and WikiLeaks could be derailed by a glaring omission in its legal text, a prominent legal expert told Al Jazeera.

The lawsuit echoes a similar suit filed by the Democratic Party in 1972 against President Richard Nixon in the wake of the Watergate scandal, seeking $US1 million in damages after a break-in to the Democratic headquarters in the Watergate Building.

The suit states that Russian Federation, using WikiLeaks, would disseminate information stolen from the DNC "at times when it would best suit the Trump campaign".

"I don't know when Mueller will finish", Perez said.

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The Trump campaign said the lawsuit was without merit and would be dismissed.

The DNC also names as a defendant the Russian military-intelligence service, the GRU, which has been accused by the USA government of orchestrating the hacks, as well as WikiLeaks, which published emails stolen from the DNC, and the group's founder, Julian Assange.

Several US intelligence agencies said a year ago they suspected Russian Federation to be behind the leaks.

"I think we have a very serious criminal activity underway in this country by the Russians and possibly by those within the Trump campaign, and to make this political is actually the wrong thing to be doing", she explained on CNN. It notes a trip to Russia by Flynn, meetings Papadopoulos held that discussed "dirt" Russians allegedly had on Clinton, the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting organized on the promise that Russia could help Trump's campaign, private communications that Trump Jr. and Stone had with WikiLeaks, and Manafort's connections in Eastern Europe. That litigation is still in progress.

Most of the allegations in the complaint were sourced from publicly available court documents and news reports.

Some political commentators in the US have said the lawsuit was more a ploy shift attention to the DNC in advance of crucial midterm elections for US Congress in November. The DNC's lawyers could request documents related to the alleged collusion in the discovery phase of the trial, during which lawyers on both sides ask for material relevant to the suit.