21 April 2018


Yesterday, the Democratic National Committee filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump's 2016 campaign operation, Trump's son Don Jr., and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, as well as against a number of other entities and officials, including Russia's spy agencies and various senior Trump campaign staffers (details here).

The lawsuit charges the campaign and others with running a complex conspiracy to disrupt the 2016 campaign, breaching the DNC's secure systems, and distorting the electoral process with rampant dishonest and illegal activity. The DNC filed a similar lawsuit after the 1972 election when it was revealed Richard Nixon's campaign had repeaedly engaged in illegal activity targeting Democrats.

"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 DNC chairman said in a prepared statement released at the time the suit was filed.

While Trump's campaign and allies allege the lawsuit is not serious, it is worth noting that the DNC won their similar lawsuit in 1974, two years after it was filed, when the Nixon campaign settled and paid $750,000 in damages.

With this type of litigation, the ultimate outcome is not particularly important. What is potentially important are the various documents the DNC will be able to pry from the Trump campaign by using subpoeanas during the discovery process.

We can't expect anything really soon on this suit but more will likely in about a year. Stay tuned.

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