- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 8, 2018

Lawyers representing President Trump’s election campaign, son-in-law and two former advisers filed documents in federal court Friday seeking dismissal from a lawsuit brought on behalf of the Democratic National Committee over the theft and disclosure of internal DNC emails during the 2016 race.

Attorneys for Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., Jared Kushner, George Papadopoulos and Roger Stone each filed motions in Manhattan federal court denying their clients illegally conspired with Russia and the WikiLeaks website to meddle in Mr. Trump’s successful campaign against former Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

“The DNC does not claim the campaign had any role in hacking its systems and stealing the materials — it attributes that only to Russia,” lawyer Michael A. Carvin wrote in a 56-page motion to dismiss filed on behalf of the 2016 Trump campaign. “Nor does the DNC claim the campaign played any part in publishing the stolen materials — it attributes that only to Russia and WikiLeaks.”

“The DNC needs to allege that the Campaign itself committed criminal acts amounting to a pattern of racketeering. But it concedes that the Campaign did no such thing,” he added.

Lawyers for Mr. Kusher, Mr. Papadopoulos and Mr. Stone separately entered similar motions seeking dismissal from the same suit Friday.

Initiated in April 2018, Democrats alleged in the lawsuit that individuals associated with Mr. Trump’s election campaign colluded with the Russian government and WikiLeaks with respect to the latter’s publication of internal DNC emails leading up to the 2016 election, in turn violating federal racketeering and wiretap laws, among others.

Russian state-sponsored hackers sourced the stolen DNC emails ultimately published by WikiLeaks in July 2016, U.S. intelligence officials previously concluded. The Department of Justice is currently investigating possible links existing between the Trump campaign and Moscow as part of its related probe into the 2016 race, and federal prosecutors have subsequently filed charges against more than 30 people, including several Russian military officers and members of Mr. Trump’s campaign.

Lawyers for Mr. Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, wrote in their motion that the DNC’s complaint “does not contain a single factual allegation implicating Kushner in the alleged wrongdoing.”

Attorneys for Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy adviser for the 2016 campaign, similarly argued the DNC’s complaint “fails to plausibly allege any cause of action” against their client.

“Roger Stone is not alleged to have spoken to any Russians or hackers about the alleged theft of DNC data or its transfer to WikiLeaks,” wrote lawyers for Mr. Stone, another former Trump campaign adviser.

Lawyers for WikiLeaks and the website’s publisher, Julian Assange, cited First Amendment protections in a motion to dismiss filed on their behalf Friday.

“Wikileaks engaged in an unlawful conspiracy with a hostile foreign power, and illegal activity isn’t protected by the First Amendment,” Adrienne Watson, DNC deputy communications director, told The Washington Times. “Beyond being wrong on the law, WikiLeaks’ attempt to make this into a defense of press freedoms is offensive. The organization has allied itself with an autocratic regime that kills journalists, and together they helped elect a U.S. president whose hostility towards the free press has no precedent in American history.”

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