The Democratic National Committee filed a lawsuit Friday against the Trump campaign, Russia and WikiLeaks, accusing them of plotting to tilt the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
The multimillion-dollar lawsuit, first reported by The Washington Post, claims that the three parties worked together to prop up President Trump and kneecap his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
The lawsuit accuses Russian intelligence services of hacking into the DNC computers and with the help of WikiLeaks distributed the stolen information to disrupt the election. The DNC alleges that the Trump campaign was aware of the effort, but instead of reporting it, “gleefully welcomed Russia’s help.”
“Indeed, the Trump campaign solicited Russia’s illegal assistance, and maintained secret communications with individuals tied to the Russian government, including one of the intelligence agencies responsible for attacking the DNC,” the lawsuit says. “Through these communications, the Trump Campaign, Trump’s closest advisors, and Russian agents formed an agreement to promote Donald Trump’s candidacy through illegal means.”
The lawsuit says that Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, shared the “goal of damaging the Democratic party in advance of the election” and released the stolen information, winning praise from then-candidate Trump.
The Trump campaign called it a “sham lawsuit” and said it smacks of desperation on the part of the DNC.
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“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,” said Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale.
Mr. Parscale said it is Democrats who are corrupt and wrongly pursuing a “scam investigation of the Trump campaign.”
“While this lawsuit is frivolous and will be dismissed, if the case goes forward, the DNC has created an opportunity for us to take aggressive discovery into their claims of ‘damages’ and uncover their acts of corruption for the American people,” Mr. Parscale said.
Roger Stone, who worked with the Trump campaign, is also named in the lawsuit, but his attorney said he has not yet been served.
“Roger Stone did not conspire, collude, or take part in any action to subvert the electoral process. Sadly, these meritless lawsuits against Roger Stone will not be an effective form of therapy for loss the DNC suffered in 2016,” said Rob Buschel, who is representing Mr. Stone.
In a statement, DNC Chair Tom Perez told The Post 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 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,” Mr. Perez said.
• Alex Swoyer contributed to this story.