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Democratic Party sues Russia, Trump campaign for allegedly disrupting 2016 election

The lawsuit alleges that Trump’s campaign “gleefully welcomed Russia’s help” in the 2016 election and accuses the Trump campaign of being a “racketeering enterprise.”

world Updated: Apr 20, 2018 22:30 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Washington
Democratic Party,Russia,Trump election campaign
U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. (AP FilePhoto)

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has filed a lawsuit against the Russian government, the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks, alleging they conspired to obstruct the 2016 election to tilt the outcome in favor of Donald Trump.

The lawsuit filed in a Manhattan court alleged top Trump campaign officials conspired with Russian government officials and its military intelligence agency to hurt Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate, by hacking into the DNC’s computer network and making public the stolen material, The Washington Post reported.

The lawsuit alleged that the Trump’s campaign “gleefully welcomed Russia’s help” in the 2016 election and accused the Trump campaign of being a “racketeering enterprise”.

The US has alleged the stolen material was disseminated through WikiLeaks, which, however, has denied Russia was the source of the leaked DNC documents it released close to the polls.

“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.

“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,” he added.

The lawsuit seeks millions in damages.

The Post pointed out there is a precedent. The DNC had successfully sued the Richard Nixon campaign during the Watergate scandal for the break-in at its offices. It had collected $750,000 from the Nixon campaign, which was paid on the day President Nixon left office.

Four US intelligence agencies reported last year that Russia sponsored the hacking of Democratic Party groups and other actions during the 2016 campaign. Part of the effort was to benefit Trump over Clinton, the agencies said.

The lawsuit names Donald Trump Jr, Trump associate Roger Stone and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner as defendants.

The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Trump has repeatedly denied his campaign colluded with Russia. Moscow has denied meddling in the election.

(With inputs from agencies)

First Published: Apr 20, 2018 22:21 IST