Trump Administration Ordered to Aid DNC's Suit Against Russia


(Bloomberg) -- The Democratic National Committee won a court order forcing President Donald Trump’s administration to help in the group’s lawsuit accusing Russia of interfering in the 2016 election.

U.S. District Judge John Koeltl on Wednesday granted the DNC’s request to enlist Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s department to formally serve Russia with the complaint through a provision of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. Russia generally refuses to accept U.S. legal complaints in the mail, complicating the Democratic group’s suit over the meddling.

The DNC will also get 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 of 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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