Former President Donald Trump sued Hillary Clinton, the Democratic National Committee and a number of other individuals and entities on Thursday, accusing them of attempting to rig the 2016 U.S. presidential election by fabricating a connection between his campaign and Russia.
Filed in federal court in Florida, the lawsuit alleges “Hillary Clinton and her cohorts orchestrated an unthinkable plot” which “shocks the conscience” of democracy in the United States.
“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,” the suit claims. “Their far-reaching conspiracy was designed to cripple Trump’s bid for presidency by fabricating a scandal that would be used to trigger an unfounded federal investigation and ignite a media frenzy.”
The full list of defendants is: Hillary R. Clinton, HFACC, Inc., the Democratic National Committee, DNC Services Corporation, Perkins Coie, LLC, Michael Sussmann, Marc Elias, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Charles Halliday Dolan, Jr., Jake Sullivan, John Podesta, Robert E. Mook, Phillipe Reines, Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson, Peter Fritsch, Nellie Ohr, Bruce Ohr, Orbis Business Intelligence, Ltd., Christopher Steele, Igor Danchenko, Neustar, Inc., Rodney Joffe, James Comey, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Kevin Clinesmith, Andrew McCabe, 10 unnamed individuals, and 10 unnamed corporations.
Trump is seeking $72 million in damages. The lawsuit says the sum is not to compensate the damage to Trump’s reputation, but rather for “the cost of dealing with the legal issues and political issues, which he was required to spend to redress the injurious falsities which were propounded by the Defendants.”
The suit accuses Clinton of “continu[ing] to drum up the false Trump-Russia narrative in the hopes of damaging Trump’s political career,” and points to comments Clinton made in both 2021 and 2022 promoting the false narrative of Trump being tied to Russia and Putin.
Trump’s suit includes allegations of racketeering, a conspiracy to commit injurious falsehood, and theft of trade secrets.
Last month, Special Counsel John Durham alleged Clinton’s campaign team paid a technology firm that mined internet data to establish a “narrative” linking Trump to Russia.
The court filing is linked to Durham’s ongoing prosecution of cybersecurity lawyer Michael Sussman, whom Durham charged last fall with making false statements to the FBI. Sussman worked for the law firm Perkins Coie in 2016, which itself worked with the Clinton campaign.
According to Durham, Sussman’s billing records reflect that he “repeatedly billed the Clinton campaign” for his work presenting the Trump-Russia allegations, but he told the FBI he was not acting on behalf of “any client.”
The effort to fabricate a link between Trump and the Russian bank allegedly relied on exploiting domain name system (DNS) traffic for Trump Tower, Trump’s Central Park West apartment building, and the Executive Office of the President of the United States (EOP), as well as an unnamed healthcare provider.
In a statement released following Durham’s findings, Trump said the information reveals “indisputable evidence” of Clinton’s wrongdoings related to the 2016 presidential race.
“The latest information from Special Counsel Robert Durham provides indisputable evidence that my campaign and presidency were spied on by operatives paid by the Hillary Clinton Campaign,” the statement read. “This was all in an effort to develop a completely fabricated connection to Russia. This is a scandal far greater in scope and magnitude than Watergate. Those who were involved in and knew about this spying operation should be subject to criminal prosecution.”