The DNC Just Sued the Trump Campaign and Russia for Collusion

The lawsuit says Moscow, the Trump team, and WikiLeaks conspired to interfere in the 2016 campaign.

Russia's president Vladimir Putin with President Donald Trump on November 11, 2017. Metzel Mikhail/TASS via ZUMA Press

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

The Democratic National Committee on Friday sued the Trump campaign, the Russian government, WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, Roger Stone, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos and Russian oligarch Aras Agalarov, his son Emin and others, alleging they conspired to disrupt the 2016 election.

The lawsuit charges that after Russian intelligence agents hacked into the DNC’s computers, the Trump campaign became “a willing and active partner.” In essence, the Democrats say that there is already enough public information to conclude that the Trump campaign and Russia conspired to use hacked emails to help defeat Hillary Clinton.

The suit, filed in federal court in New York, charges that the Trump campaign solicited Russia’s aid “and maintained secret communications with individuals tied to the Russian government.” The campaign and top Trump advisers “formed an agreement” with Russian agents to promote Trump’s candidacy, the Democrats say.

As Russia used WikiLeaks to strategically release stolen information, “Trump openly praised the illegal disseminations and encouraged Russia to continue its violations of US law through its ongoing hacking campaign against the Democratic party,” the complaint says.

The suit says the Trump campaign’s conduct was “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 DNC says the hacking required Democrats to spend more than $1 million on repairs and cybersecurity fixes. The party says it suffered “a dramatic drop in donations” and diminished job performance from employees, who faced death threats and other harassment after their personal information was exposed.

“I hope all your children get raped and murdered,” one message to a DNC employee said. “I hope your family knows nothing but suffering, torture and death.”

The suit seeks damages, an injunction preventing the defendants from future election-related hacking and distribution of stolen information, and a declaration from the court that the defendants “conspired to and did engage in a common scheme to hack Democratic computers, use “stolen information to impact the 2016 election for their own gain.”

This story has been updated.

Read the lawsuit:


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend