Late last week, the Democratic National Committee launched a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the Trump campaign, WikiLeaks organization, and Russian government. Alleging that the three actors collaborated to sabotage Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and skew the 2016 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump, the Committee is hoping to recoup some of its damages.
Filed in federal district court in Manhattan, the complaint claims top Trump campaign officials actively conspired with the Kremlin and its military spy agency to collect damaging data on Clinton and undermine her bid for the White House. The DNC says hackers stole critical information from Committee computers and disseminated it online.
“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,” said DNC Chairman Tom Perez.
“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.”
Among the embarrassing secrets dredged up on Democrats and former candidate Clinton were insights on the DNC’s decision to sideline Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. E-mails obtained a hacked database demonstrated how officials fed Clinton debate questions in advance and sought the support of so-called “super-delegates” before primary voting even began.
Perhaps needless to say, the Democratic National Committee’s wrongdoing was scarcely mentioned in its announcement to file suit.
Instead, the DNC chose to emphasize how a Russian hacking campaign may have collaborated with Trump’s associates to steal the 2016 election. The subject of possible collusion remains contentious and very much open to debate. Special Counsel Robert Mueller remains in charge of an investigation into possible wrongdoing.
Last month, notes CNN, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee said they found no evidence of conspiracy. Their conclusion, in turn, was rebuked by Democrats sitting on the same panel.
President Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, says the suit is without merit and likely to fail in court.
“This is a sham lawsuit about a bogus Russian collusion claim filed by a desperate, dysfunctional, and nearly insolvent Democratic Party,” said Parscale. “With the Democrats’ conspiracy theories against the President’s campaign evaporating as quickly as the failing DNC’s fundraising, they’ve sunk to a new low to raise money, especially among small donors who have abandoned them.”
Former adviser to President Barack Obama David Axelrod said the suit was ‘ill-timed’ and could lend credence to conservative efforts to brand Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation as a partisan affair.
“Everyone should chill out and let Mueller do his job,” said Axelrod.
Regardless: the suit, its claims, and Republican attempts to refute its allegations come with a tinge of irony – how the campaign manager for outspoken Obama ‘birther’ Donald Trump charges Democrats with creating conspiracy theories, while the DNC seeks to rationalize the loss of a candidate still unwilling to admit responsibility for her own defeat.