A Hill Talk Editorial: DNC lawsuit over 2016 election breaks new ground

A lawsuit claiming the Trump campaign, the Russian Federation and Wikileaks engaged in a widespread conspiracy to undermine the 2016 presidential election and assist Donald Trump’s ascent to the White House was filed by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) on Friday, April 20.

The suit charges all three defendants with illegal hacking and racketeering; the suit does not specify damages sought.

Filed in a Manhattan federal court, the suit names Trump officials Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, one-time campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Manafort deputy Rick Gates, political consultant Roger Stone and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as defendants.

Additionally, the suit claims defendants in the Russian Federation’s Main Intelligence Directorate, the GRU, and internet hacker, Guccifer 2.0.  President Trump is not named as a defendant.

According to the Democratic Party’s legal action, the Trump campaign’s contacts, its support for alleged Russian hacking of DNC networks and contacts with Russian officials effectively created a criminal conspiracy intent on interfering with the election.

The suit also contends Trump’s campaign formed an alliance with the Russian government and its intelligence gathering apparatuses to thwart the Hillary Clinton campaign by breaching DNC computer networks and leaking information damaging to the party and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Explaining the basis for the suit, DNC chair, Tom Perez, told the Washington Post:

“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.”

The Trump re-election campaign dismissed the suit as “frivolous” and a “last-ditched effort to substantiate baseless allegations collusion with Russia.”

“This is a sham lawsuit about a bogus Russian collusion claim filed by a desperate, dysfunctional, and nearly insolvent Democratic Party,” Brad Parscale, the manager of Trump’s reelection campaign, said in a statement. 

While making the Sunday talk-show rounds on April 22, DNC chair Tom Perez, explained the lawsuit in depth when speaking with George Stephanopoulos, host of ABC’s This Week.

In a later appearance on Meet the Press, Perez averred he was unconcerned about the cost of the suit and again hurled the charge a “mountain of evidence” has emerged over the past year to illustrate collusion between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia.


This litigation is a febrile cry of hurt.

Having lost the battle to place the first female and the party’s favored daughter Hillary Clinton in the Oval Office, the DNC now advances a crackpot lawsuit to extend the fiction of Russia conspiring with the Trump campaign ahead of the 2018 mid-term elections.

Filed at the same time as the likelihood fades Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office will produce a single shred of evidence Trump engaged in a conspiracy to upend democracy and admissions from Mueller’s office the president is not a target of his probe, this legal action signals the Democrats’ missionary zeal to engage in insurgent political warfare, name calling, and a smear campaign through the court system.

For Democrats, this legal effort is depressingly familiar:  When Democrats or left-wing groups can not achieve a victory at the ballot box, they make promiscuous use of the court system to reach their political goals.  Lawsuits against tobacco firms and gun manufacturers dominated in the 1990s, some of which led to generous financial settlements.  Similar lawsuits over the use of firearms continue to linger, causing a sluggishness in the courts.

For the DNC chairman, the foul-mouthed Tom Perez, his comments were rich:  Representing a party still deeply embittered over Clinton’s election loss, Mr. Perez continued to hurl invective and false charges against President Trump.  While crying foul over the election, Perez again advanced a fiction the Trump administration has refused to “impose sufficient cost” on Russia over its alleged election interference because the Trump campaign had conspired with the Kremlin to win the White House.  A blatant and unambiguous lie, Perez, of all people, should know the Trump administration has repeatedly sanctioned Russia for, among other reasons, its alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Is this a surprise from Perez?  No.  The sole purpose of his hysterical fit is to sear into the consciousness of his base Mr. Trump’s election victory was the result of a conspiracy Mr. Trump and his associates snatched the White House in a rigged election.

If nothing else, the most powerful message the 2016 election sent to voters is the need for both major parties to recruit better quality candidates for public office.  Although President Trump’s leadership style tends to disenchant, he was an appealing enough alternative to Mrs. Clinton, who suffers from many of the questions of character found in the president.  It is neither a great tragedy Hillary Clinton was not elected nor was there a great crime surrounding her election loss.

If the Democratic Party seeks legitimacy after its 2016 election loss, a juvenile lawsuit alleging the Trump campaign formed an alliance with a third party to rig an election only demeans the party and its followers.  To be taken seriously, the Democrats are better served by demonstrating it can govern responsibly as a minority and ending the incessant calls for administration officials to resign or demanding congressional investigations.

Once a party of ideas, if the Democrats are ever to return to greatness, it would find an easier path to a return to power in Washington, D.C. if it could rid itself of the Clintons and formulate policies attractive to a wider audience and in areas in which the GOP earned stunning victories in 2016.

Perez repeatedly claimed “he did his homework” prior to filing the suit.  Judging from his television appearances in which he struggled to offer anything new other than the tired, old Democrat Party talking points alleging Russian interference, it appears as if Perez and the DNC leadership did not do much homework at all.


[Bloomberg] [Daily Mail] [Photo courtesy AP/Andrew Harnik via The Atlantic]


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