US Democratic Party sues Russia, WikiLeaks, Donald Trump over 2016 election | Americas| North and South American news impacting on Europe | DW | 20.04.2018
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US Democratic Party sues Russia, WikiLeaks, Donald Trump over 2016 election

The Democratic Party filed a suit against Russia, WikiLeaks and President Donald Trump, charging that they conspired to disrupt the 2016 election. Trump "gleefully welcomed Russia's help," the lawsuit claims.

A new lawsuit from the US Democratic Party claims President Donald Trump conspired with the Russian government and Russia's military intelligence service to hurt Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

The lawsuit, which was filed on Friday in the US federal court in Manhattan, claims Russia's alleged hacking of Democratic Party computers tilted the 2016 election in Trump's favor. In addition to Trump, Russia and WikiLeaks, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) also named Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and the president's associate Roger Stone as defendants.

According to the court documents, the DNC also claims the president's son Donald Trump Jr. secretly communicated with the WikiLeaks platform.

Read more: 21 US states targeted by Russian hackers, no votes changed

Responding to the lawsuit, Stone said it was based on a "left-wing conspiracy theory."

"NO proof or evidence," he wrote in a comment to the Reuters news agency.

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Attack on 'American democracy'

The DNC said Moscow had "mounted a brazen attack on American democracy" by extracting emails and other documents and then publishing them via the WikiLeaks platform.

Trump "gleefully welcomed Russia's help," it added. It also accused the Trump campaign of being a "racketeering enterprise."

Thousands of hacked emails and other DNC documents were published on the eve of the Democratic Party convention in July 2016 and drew global media attention during the tense presidential race between Clinton and Trump. Among other things, the emails showed the DNC working to undermine Clinton's rival in the primaries, leftist Senator Bernie Sanders.

Both Moscow and the Trump administration have repeatedly denied any collusion.

Read more: US intelligence claims Putin 'ordered' involvement in US election

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Help for Mueller?

President Trump and his inner circle had pre-existing contacts with Moscow and Russian oligarchs, which enabled the collusion, according to the lawsuit.

"The conspiracy constituted an act of previously unimaginable treachery: the campaign of the presidential nominee of a major party in league with a hostile foreign power to bolster its own chance to win the presidency," the lawsuit argues. "Under the laws of this nation, Russia and its co-conspirators must answer for these actions."

Additionally, the lawsuit demands unspecified damages and a court order to prevent further interference with DNC computer systems.

The legal move comes as special counsel Robert Mueller leads a separate investigation into the alleged collusion with Russia. If it goes forward, the new DNC lawsuit could force officials to reveal more documents connected with the issue.

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More to come...

dj/msh (Reuters, AP, AFP, dpa)

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