On March 24, former President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit against his 2016 presidential opponent Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party, and several actors who were in one way or another linked to the discredited Russian plot.
The lengthy 108-page lawsuit argues that Clinton and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) carried out an “unthinkable plot” to link Trump to officials of a “hostile” nation (Russia) seeking to ruin the former president’s own life and political career.
“In the run-up to the 2016 Presidential Election, Hillary Clinton and her cohorts orchestrated an unthinkable plot – one that shocks the conscience and is an affront to this nation’s democracy,” reads the lawsuit filed in the Southern District of Florida. “Acting in concert, the Defendants maliciously conspired to weave a false narrative that their Republican opponent, Donald J. Trump, was colluding with a hostile foreign sovereignty.”
In addition to Clinton and the DNC, the lawsuit also charges former DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Clinton campaign manager John Podesta, the research firm Fusion GPS, the law firm Perkins Coie, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, and Lisa Page, all former FBI officials, and the embattled Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent who wrote the famous Steele dossier that claimed Russian officials had compromising information about the former president.
The lawsuit also alleges that the defendants obstructed justice and stole trade secrets, citing the illegal hacking of Trump’s private communications as an example.
“The actions taken in furtherance of their scheme—falsifying evidence, deceiving law enforcement, and exploiting access to highly-sensitive data sources—are so outrageous, subversive and incendiary that even the events of Watergate pale in comparison,” the document reads.
According to Politico, “The suit appears to seek more than $72 million in damages, which the complaint says is the tally of legal fees and other costs of defending against the alleged untruths.” However, the lawsuit reads that all proceedings and damages “to date” are stipulated at “an amount not less than twenty-four million dollars ($24,000,000)” and “continuing to accrue.”
Will Trump’s lawsuit against Hillary Clinton succeed?
It’s still too early to tell whether Trump’s lawsuit against Clinton and the DNC will succeed, but according to Jeff Grell, an attorney who specializes in racketeering cases who spoke with Reuters, Trump waited too long to file his racketeering claims. ” Civil racketeering claims are governed by a four-year statute of limitations, Grell said, but there is usually a big dispute about when that four-year period begins to run.”
According to the attorney, this type of litigation can be quite time-consuming, as the defense has a wide range of ways to defend itself.
“Defendants may also argue various defenses, such as that Trump’s lawsuit ignores the immunity granted to government agents, the lawsuit doesn’t set forth a pattern of racketeering — which is required for liability — or the lawsuit seeks to chill the exercise of free speech,” the Reuters report reads.
Trump did not collude with Russia: Senate report
Despite the fact that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort had connections to pro-Russian officials in Ukraine and worked with the WikiLeaks website to help Trump win in the 2016 election — according to a lengthy report by a Republican-led Senate Select Committee on Intelligence — the findings of that report and special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation yield that the Trump campaign or the former president himself did not collude with Russia in an election scheme.
“As is evident to those who read all five volumes of the Committee’s report, the Russian government inappropriately meddled in our 2016 general election in many ways but then-Candidate Trump was not complicit. After more than three years of investigation by this Committee, we can now say with no doubt, there was no collusion,” the report states.
In February 2022, in fact, a filing by special counsel John Durham, revealed that Clinton campaign lawyers paid the firm “Tech Executive 1” to have its hackers infiltrate the Trump campaign, spy and create a fake connection between Trump and the Kremlin with the goal of altering the course of the election in 2016. Failing to do so, the Clinton team doubled down, infiltrating the White House looking for new findings to undermine the former president’s popularity.
Durham was appointed in April 2019 by then-Attorney General William Barr to investigate the Trump-Kremlin connection.