WASHINGTON – The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is filing a civil lawsuit against the Trump campaign, the Russian government, and Wikileaks for alleged collusion during the 2016 election.
DNC officials, including Deputy Chair Keith Ellison, have vocally supported the lawsuit, saying it is “about our democracy.”
“As Americans, it is our duty to respond when our democracy is attacked,” Ellison wrote on Twitter. “The DNC is filing this lawsuit because Russia, and anyone who supported their interference in the 2016 election, must be held accountable.”
As Americans, it is our duty to respond when our democracy is attacked. The DNC is filing this lawsuit because Russia, and anyone who supported their interference in the 2016 election, must be held accountable. https://t.co/r42in1EC7r
— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) April 20, 2018
The lawsuit contends Russia “perpetrated a brazen attack on American democracy during the 2016 election.” According to DNC officials, the Trump campaign acted as a “willing partner” in Russia’s collusion efforts, alleging the campaign had “repeated secretive communications with Russian agents and Wikileaks.”
“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 DNC said in a statement.
Not all Democrats have shared Ellison’s support for the lawsuit. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), among other Democrats, have criticized the decision, with some pointing to the large costs the DNC would incur. DNC Chairman Tom Perez attempted to defend the lawsuit this weekend, dismissing concerns about taking away much-needed financial resources from the 2018 midterms.
“I don’t know the amount of money that it will take, but I will tell you, it’s hard to put a price tag on preserving democracy,” Perez said on NBC’s “Meet The Press” on Sunday. “That’s why I concluded that it would be irresponsible of me not to do this.”
Ellison has not addressed how the DNC will manage the financial burden of the lawsuit.