Trump sues Hillary Clinton, others for 2016 election he won

“Acting in concert, the defendants maliciously conspired to weave a false narrative that their Republican opponent, Donald Trump, colluded with hostile foreign sovereignty,” the lawsuit states. “The actions taken in their scheme – tampering with evidence, deceiving law enforcement and exploiting access to highly sensitive data sources – are so outrageous, subversive and inflammatory that even the events of Watergate pale in comparison. in comparison.”

Trump filed the 108-page lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, arguing that “a substantial portion of the events or omissions giving rise to plaintiffs’ claims occurred in this district.” Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate is in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Clinton and DNC spokespersons did not immediately respond to requests for comment. More than two dozen other entities and individuals are also named in the lawsuit.

Despite Trump’s repeated claims that he had been exonerated by former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III after a two-year investigation, Mueller in 2019 only said his team had made no decision on “collusion.” and that she had not found enough evidence to charge any member of Trump’s campaign with criminal conspiracy.

Several Trump associates have pleaded guilty to charges related to the 2016 campaign and Russia, including federal conspiracy or lying to the FBI.

Trump has filed a lawsuit as a long-running criminal investigation into his company appears to be collapsing. Two senior attorneys leading that investigation resigned last month, frustrated by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s reluctance to criminally indict the former president.

Investigators for the New York District Attorney and Attorney General have spent years working to determine whether Trump and the Trump Organization attempted to reduce tax liability by falsely understating the value of assets while trying obtain favorable loan rates by using other false estimates.

Bragg’s predecessor, Cyrus Vance, decided late last year that he wanted to seek an impeachment, people familiar with the matter said. But Bragg, who took over from Vance in January, had significant doubts, these people said. Bragg’s office says the investigation is continuing under new management.

Trump’s lawsuit appears to draw heavily on indictments brought by Special Counsel John Durham, who was tasked by former Attorney General William P. Barr to review the FBI’s 2016 investigation into the campaign. of Trump. But he often exaggerates or misrepresents Durham’s claims or other facts of the case, as he seeks to portray a grand Clinton-led plot to overthrow the Trump campaign.

The lawsuit, for example, alleges that the FBI “relying on the defendants’ fraudulent evidence – launched a full-scale investigation and expended valuable time, resources and taxpayer dollars investigating the false allegation that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

The lawsuit specifically targets the now infamous dossier alleging Trump’s ties to Russia, which was written by a former British spy who had been hired by an opposition research firm working for the Clinton campaign. It also highlights an effort by a Democratically connected attorney who sought to get the bureau to investigate possible computer connections between a Trump Organization server and a Russian financial institution known as Alfa Bank.

Durham alleged the attorney, Michael Sussmann, was working on behalf of the Clinton campaign and a tech executive when he approached the office’s general counsel, though he claimed he was not doing so on behalf of of a customer.

The FBI has relied on the dossier to advance its investigation of Trump’s campaign – including using it to seek to justify a request for covert surveillance of a former Trump campaign adviser. Officers also examined the computer links, ultimately finding nothing nefarious.

But a report by the Justice Department’s inspector general found that the FBI’s investigation into Trump’s campaign was “started” for another reason: Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos bragged to an Australian government official that the Russians potentially had dirt on Clinton, and investigators wanted to see how he could have known.

The lawsuit alleges that Sussmann, a lawyer with deep Democratic ties, and technology executive Rodney Joffe exploited access to nonpublic data to research possible computer links between Trump entities and Russia.

Like Trump, the special counsel alleged that Joffe had “exploited” his access to the data. But Trump’s lawsuit goes further, alleging: “When it was discovered that no such chain existed, the defendants resorted to genuinely subversive measures – hacking into the servers of Trump Tower, the Trump’s private apartment and, most alarmingly, the White House”.

Durham, the special counsel, did not allege a “hacking” effort, and the evidence does not appear to support one.

The computer links at issue came from the Domain Name System, or DNS, a kind of digital telephone directory that associates domain names – which are usually words – with Internet addresses, which are numbers. DNS records would indicate when one computer was communicating with another, perhaps because someone visited a particular website or sent an email. Joffe and lawyers for one of those involved in the search effort insisted they had legal access to it and it wasn’t really private data.

The lawyers also said that although the researchers looked at data from the president’s executive office, it dated to the period before Trump took office, disproving the idea that he had been spied on in some way or other. another when he was Commander-in-Chief.

Aitan Goelman, an attorney for Pete Strzok, who led the FBI investigation when it opened in 2016 and is named as a defendant, said: “We haven’t had a chance to read the complaint, but knowing the former president, there’s probably very little to it, that’s true. It’s also strange that he’s filing this lawsuit at the same time the DOJ is trying to overturn our subpoena to Trump in the case. of Pete against the Department.

Debbi Wilgoren contributed to this report.


Washington

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