President Trump declared victory Friday after a D.C. federal court judge dismissed a lawsuit against his 2016 election campaign on a technicality.
Mr. Trump took to Twitter after U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle tossed out a complaint brought against his presidential election campaign and Roger Stone, a former campaign adviser, on behalf of two Democratic National Committee donors and a former staffer who accused them of conspiring with Russian hackers and WikiLeaks to publish stolen DNC documents during the 2016 race.
“Just won lawsuit filed by the DNC and a bunch of Democrat crazies trying to claim the Trump Campaign (and others), colluded with Russia. They haven’t figured out that this was an excuse for them losing the election!” Mr. Trump tweeted Friday.
A Clinton-appointee, Judge Huvelle explicitly stated that she hadn’t considered the case for collusion when she dismissed the invasion of privacy lawsuit over lack of jurisdiction.
“It bears emphasizing that this Court’s ruling is not based on a finding that there was no collusion between defendants and Russia during the 2016 presidential election,” she wrote in a 45-page opinion Tuesday. “This is the wrong forum for plaintiffs’ lawsuit. The Court takes no position on the merits of plaintiffs’ claims.”
The lawsuit was not filed by the DNC, but by Protect Democracy, a watchdog group that described itself Friday in a tweet to the president as “a bipartisan group of Americans committed to protecting our democracy.”
“The case was brought by American voters who were personally injured when their private information was hacked and dumped to the world,” Protect Democracy tweeted. “Your job is to protect those Americans and protect our elections from foreign interference.”
Russian state-sponsored hackers breached the DNC and other Democratic targets during the 2016 race and pilfered sensitive emails and other internal documents subsequently published by outlets including WikiLeaks, U.S. intelligence officials previously concluded.
Protect Democracy claimed that the Trump campaign and Mr. Stone had colluded with Russia and WikiLeaks as “part of a deliberate campaign to interfere in the U.S. election and tilt its outcome in favor of Donald Trump,” and the group sued last summer on behalf of individuals whose data was dumped in the leak.
Mr. Trump, Mr. Stone and Russian President Vladimir Putin have also denied involvement in the DNC breach. An investigation into Russia’s activities during the race and any potential collusion between Mr. Trump’s campaign and Moscow is currently being conducted by Robert Mueller, a former FBI director appointed special counsel by the Department of Justice in May 2017, and has yielded over 100 charges against at least 20 people and companies.
“Even though the case was not decided on this basis, plaintiffs provided no evidence or proof whatsoever of their central left-wing conspiracy theory: that I somehow worked with the Russian state to hack the DNC email servers and shared the fruits of this alleged hacking with Wikileaks or the Trump campaign. This is false and can therefore never be proven in any jurisdiction,” Mr. Stone said Thursday.