Did The Democrats' "The Russians did it" narrative just jump the shark?
The Washingtoin Post reports that The Democratic National Committee filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit Friday against the Russian government, the Trump campaign and the WikiLeaks organization alleging a far-reaching conspiracy to disrupt the 2016 campaign and tilt the election to Donald Trump.
The lawsuit alleges that in addition to the Russian Federation, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Wikileaks and Guccifer 2.0, top Trump campaign officials, including Donald Trump Jr, Roger Stone, Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and pretty much everyone else who has been mentioned in the same paragraph as Trump....
... conspired with the Russian government and its military spy agency to hurt Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and help Trump by hacking the computer networks of the Democratic Party and disseminating stolen material found there.
DNC Chairman Tom Perez said in a statement...
“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 lawsuit asserts that the Russian hacking campaign - combined with Trump associates’ contacts with Russia and the campaign’s public cheerleading of the hacks - amounted to an illegal conspiracy to interfere in the election that caused serious damage to the Democratic Party.
We look forward to Trump's tweeted response to this farce; we also look forward to the Democrats collecting millions of dollars in damages from Putin.
As a reminder, the president has repeatedly rejected any collusion or improper activity by his campaign. This week, he referred again in a tweet to the “phony Russia investigation where, by the way, there was NO COLLUSION (except by the Dems).”
The Washington Post notes that the lawsuit echoes a similar legal tactic that the Democratic Party used during the Watergate scandal.
In 1972, the DNC filed suit against then President Richard Nixon’s reelection committee seeking $1 million in damages for the break-in at Democratic headquarters in the Watergate building.
The suit was denounced at the time by Nixon’s attorney general, John Mitchell, who called it a case of “sheer demagoguery” by the DNC. But the civil action brought by former DNC chair Lawrence F. O’Brien was ultimately successful, yielding a $750,000 settlement from the Nixon campaign that was reached on the day in 1974 that Nixon left office.
The suit filed today seeks millions of dollars in compensation to offset damage it claims the party suffered from the hacks. The DNC argues that the cyberattack undermined its ability to communicate with voters, collect donations and operate effectively as its employees faced personal harassment and, in some cases, death threats.
As a reminder, Senate investigators and prosecutors for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III are still investigating whether Trump associates coordinated with the Russian efforts. Last month, House Intelligence Committee Republicans said they found no evidence that President Trump and his affiliates colluded with Russian officials to sway the election or that the Kremlin sought to help him — a conclusion rejected by the panel’s Democrats.
On Thursday, Bloomberg reported that Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein told Trump that he wasn't the target of the Mueller probe.
Meanwhile, as Glenn Greenwald summarized it:
18 months after their crushing defeat at the hands of a game show host, the Democrats have still published no public autopsy about why they lost or have collapsed at all levels. They did, though, just file a lawsuit blaming Russia & WL for their loss
18 months after their crushing defeat at the hands of a game show host, the Democrats have still published no public autopsy about why they lost or have collapsed at all levels. They did, though, just file a lawsuit blaming Russia & WL for their loss https://t.co/wdZmTbfW9k— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 20, 2018
Another hot take makes sense in the context of the the Dems' growing fundraising gap:
DNC Tries To Close Massive Fundraising Gap By Suing Trump Campaign, Russia https://t.co/5GwUdu6BPm— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) April 20, 2018
Freedom Press director noted that the theories promoted "in the DNC lawsuit against WikiLeaks are crazy" and "If it actually was accepted by a judge/jury, countless journalists would be liable for all sorts of campaign related reporting in the future."
I know Assange is unpopular, but I hope everyone can see some of these theories in the DNC lawsuit against WikiLeaks are crazy.— Trevor Timm (@trevortimm) April 20, 2018
If it actually was accepted by a judge/jury, countless journalists would be liable for all sorts of campaign related reporting in the future. pic.twitter.com/Yh1904Uxul
Last but not least, one of the defendants, Wikileaks itself, commented, saying that the "DNC already has a moribund publicity lawsuit which the press has became bored of--hence the need to refile it as a "new" suit before mid-terms. As an accurate publisher of newsworthy information @wikileaks is constitutionally protected from such suits."
Comment on DNC "lawsuit": DNC already has a moribund publicity lawsuit which the press has became bored of--hence the need to refile it as a "new" suit before mid-terms. As an accurate publisher of newsworthy information @WikiLeaks is constitutionally protected from such suits.— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 20, 2018
And if someone still thinks this is some elaborate prank, here is the actual lawsuit: