Russia ‘interference’ in 2016 polls: Democrats file lawsuit
At a time when US President Donald Trump is trying hard to settle the probe into the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election in the US fast and his legal team also included former New York mayor Rudi Giuliani towards that aim, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) filed a lawsuit against the Trump campaign, Russian government and also Wikileaks alleging a widespread collusion to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.
The lawsuit, worth multimillion dollars, was filed on Friday, April 20, in the federal court in the southern district of New York. It alleged that senior men within Trump's campaign conspired with the Kremlin in a bid to scuttle Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who was known to have worse relation with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The complaint also sought damages for the hacking of DNC's servers.
In a statement, DNC president Tom Perez accused Russia of launching an all-out assault on the American democracy during the 2016 presidential campaign and finding a "willing and active" partner in the Trump campaign. He also termed it as an "act of unprecedented treachery".
Among the defendants are Trump's eldest son Donald Trump Junior; son-in-law and senior aide Jared Kushner; Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates and also former member of the foreign policy advisory panel to Trump's campaign George Papadopoulos. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and Trump's longtime friend Roger Stone who communicated with Wikileaks that published emails received from hacking of both DNC and Clinton's campaign chair John Podesta were also on the list. Russian billionaire family members Aras and Emin Agalarov were also mentioned as defendants for serving as potential conduits between Trump and Russia.
Trump himself has called the allegations a hoax created by the Democrats and refused there was any collusion. He also termed special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russia's alleged meddling as "with hunt".
Both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Congress have conducted separate inquiries into the charges of Russia's interference in the US election of 2016.
The Trump campaign arm called the latest lawsuit "frivolous" while the White House did not comment on it.