The Democratic National Committee is seeking a court order that would essentially force President Donald Trump’s administration to aid the group’s lawsuit accusing Russia of interfering in the 2016 election.
Enlisting Secretary of State Mike Pompeo through a provision of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act "is the only means available to the plaintiff" to formally serve Russia with the complaint, the DNC said Friday in a filing in federal court in Manhattan. Russia generally refuses to accept U.S. legal complaints in the mail, according to the filing.
The group also wants the State Department’s help in serving the complaint on the GRU, Russia’s military spy service, and the GRU operative using the pseudonym Guccifer 2.0, who had claimed to have hacked the DNC’s computers.
The DNC sued Russia, the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks in April, claiming hacks on its computers inflicted “profound damage” on the party by undermining its effort to communicate “values and vision" and by creating internal discord. The suit could force Trump’s 2016 staffers to answer questions under oath about campaign activities. And evidence gathered by the DNC could be made public in court filings and at a trial -- in contrast to information obtained through Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.
Beginning in mid-2016, WikiLeaks released almost 20,000 emails from inside the DNC that showed, among other things, how staffers had favored Hillary Clinton during her primary campaign against Bernie Sanders -- prompting Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida to resign as committee head. Later in the campaign, WikiLeaks released tens of thousands of emails from the Gmail account of John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman.
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