DNC Chair Tom Perez
DNC Chair Tom Perez

The Democrat National Committee announced on Friday that they are filing a civil suit against the Trump campaign and Russia. In an email sent Friday afternoon, DNC Chair Tom Perez wrote:

Today, the DNC is filing a civil lawsuit alleging that Russia perpetrated a brazen attack on American democracy during the 2016 election, and found a willing partner in the Trump campaign.

Here’s why: A major part of Russia’s attack on American democracy was the cyberattack on the DNC and theft of the DNC’s proprietary information. This stolen information was then released to the public by Russian agents and WikiLeaks to damage the Democratic Party and influence the 2016 election.

We’re taking this action because we believe no one is above the law, and we must pursue every avenue of justice against those who engaged in this illegal activity against the DNC and our democracy.

This is a patriotic — not partisan — move. As Sen. John McCain said, “When you attack a country, it’s an act of war. And so we have to make sure that there is a price to pay, so that we can perhaps persuade the Russians to stop these kind of attacks on our very fundamentals of democracy.”

We believe that Russia found a willing partner in the Trump campaign, who shared their goal of damaging the Democratic Party and helping elect Donald Trump. The Trump campaign had repeated secretive communications with Russian agents and WikiLeaks. Russian agents told Trump advisors that the Kremlin wanted to help Trump and had stolen emails and other material that could damage Trump’s opponent. And Trump’s closest political advisor, Roger Stone, had advanced knowledge of a major release of stolen Democratic emails.

It is a disgrace to our country that instead of taking actions to protect American democracy, the Trump campaign put itself first. And if the occupant of the Oval Office refuses to protect our democracy, it’s up to us.

Putting together a lawsuit like this, with all the proper documentation, has taken some time. That’s why we’re filing it today, both to seek justice and deter further attacks on our democracy.

Make no mistake about it, Shane: Our number one focus at the DNC is, and remains, electing Democrats from the school board to the Oval Office — and we’re winning all across this country.

We’re going to keep our eyes on the prize: taking back the House and Senate, winning back state legislatures, and moving our country in the right direction.

But winning elections also means protecting elections, and today we’re doing just that.

While a civil trial has a looser evidentiary standard than a criminal trial (a preponderance of evidence vs. being able to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt) there still needs to be evidence. We’ve yet to see any evidence linking the Trump campaign to the Russian hack of the Democratic National Committee.

They have a stronger case against Russia provided evidence gathered by intelligence agencies linking Russia to that hack would be declassified for a civil trial, but against the Trump campaign? There is no way this does not get dismissed.

I would take this seriously if the Mueller investigation bore fruit and they sued after that. This is just a fundraising gimmick.

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