DNC Files Lawsuit Against Russia, WikiLeaks, Trump Campaign For Attack On DNC & Our Democracy
Jeanne Atkins, Democratic Party of Oregon chair, emailed the following story to state and county party leaders Friday with this note:
"I’ve been hearing from our members how concerned they are about our electoral system and they want to know what the Party is doing about protecting our elections. Well, here is a big step the DNC is taking. Those who would mess with our basic Democratic institutions need to know they will answer for it. I'm glad to be part of an organization that will step forward to hold wrongdoers accountable. All that being said, please know that we are not fundraising around this effort and this does not represent any retreat from keeping our eyes on the goal of electing Democrats up and down the ticket. – Jeanne Atkins, State Party Chair"
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The DNC filed a complaint in federal court on Friday against the Russian Federation, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (GRU), a GRU operative using a pseudonym "Guccifer 2.0," Aras and Emin Agalarov, Joseph Mifsud, WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Jared Kushner, George Papadopoulos, and Richard Gates for their brazen attack on our democracy, including the DNC hack and dissemination of stolen documents.
“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. 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," said DNC Chair Tom Perez.
“No one is above the law and the perpetrators of this attack must be held accountable. They successfully hacked the Democratic Party in 2016 and they will be back. We must prevent future attacks on our democracy, and that’s exactly what we’re doing today. This is not partisan, it’s patriotic. If the occupant of the Oval Office won’t protect our democracy, Democrats will. It is our obligation to the American people.”
Russia found a willing partner in the Trump campaign, which shared their goal of hurting the Democratic Party and electing Donald Trump. Representatives of all three groups remained in contact with each other as the attack was being executed.
A major component of the Russian interference campaign was the cyberattack on the DNC. Russian intelligence agents broke into DNC computer systems, stole DNC materials, and used WikiLeaks and fake personas operated by Russian intelligence to disseminate the stolen materials to voters.
The Russian government notified the Trump campaign in advance that it had stolen Democratic emails and other information about the Democratic Party that it was seeking to use in support of Trump’s candidacy. Rather than reporting Russia's offer to meddle in a U.S. election, the Trump campaign welcomed Russia's help. Trump’s closest political adviser, Roger Stone, also appeared to have advance knowledge of specific plans by WikiLeaks to disseminate some of this information. Rather than report these plans to authorities, the Trump campaign and its associates cheered them on. And throughout the campaign, Trump associates remained in contact with individuals closely connected to the Kremlin and Russian intelligence agencies.
This lawsuit is based on facts, admissions of defendants in multiple criminal proceedings, including their own words, records that have been released in legal filings, the conclusions of the U.S. intelligence community and widely confirmed news reports.
While it is impossible to fully repair the harm caused by the defendants, the DNC has filed this civil complaint in the federal court in Southern District of New York to hold the defendants accountable for their misconduct and to ensure transparency.
The DNC is represented in this matter by Joe Sellers, Geoffrey Graber, Julia Horwitz and Alison Deich of the law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC.