Democrats Sue Trump Campaign, Russia For Alleged Conspiracy

Democrats Sue Trump Campaign, Russia For Alleged Conspiracy
(Files) US President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during the 2018 White House business session with state governors in the State Dining Room of the White House on February 26, 2018, in Washington, DC. MANDEL NGAN / AFP

 

The Democratic Party filed a lawsuit Friday alleging that Russia, WikiLeaks and top officials from Donald Trump’s campaign conspired to tilt the 2016 US presidential election in the Republican’s favour.

The civil complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan by the Democratic National Committee alleges that Russia informed Trump’s campaign that it had conducted a cyber attack on the DNC, leading to the release of information damaging to Trump’s rival Hillary Clinton.

It also says a close Trump advisor, Roger Stone, appeared to have “advance knowledge” of plans by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks to disseminate some of the stolen information — as part of what the suit alleges was a wide-ranging illegal conspiracy to influence the election.

Republican Party chair Ronna McDaniel called the lawsuit “a last-ditch effort by a bankrupt party still trying to cope with the fact that their candidate lost the 2016 election.”

Trump tweeted that the lawsuit “can be good news in that we will now counter.”

The Democrats allege that in a series of meetings and communications, Russian officials or representatives coordinated with Trump campaign personnel or associates for more than a year as they sought to lay the groundwork for a Trump upset.

“The Trump campaign and its agents gleefully welcomed Russia’s help,” according to the 66-page complaint, which demands monetary damages and a declaration that the defendants conspired illegally.

“The conspiracy constituted an act of previously unimaginable treachery: the campaign of the presidential nominee of a major party in league with a hostile foreign power to bolster its own chance to win the presidency,” it added.

The lawsuit targets Trump’s campaign, his son Donald Trump Jr, his son-in-law Jared Kushner and numerous campaign officials such as Paul Manafort, as well as the Russian government, including its foreign military intelligence agency, and WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange.

“During the 2016 presidential campaign, Russia launched an all-out assault on our democracy, and it found a willing and active partner in Donald Trump’s campaign,” DNC chairman Tom Perez said in a statement.

– Detailed chronology –

The Democratic move comes at a time of legal turmoil for the president, marked by a raid on the offices of his personal lawyer, and the release of a book by James Comey that alleges Trump was obsessed with the Russia meddling probe when he sacked the former FBI chief.

Special counsel Robert Mueller and congressional investigators are probing possible Trump campaign links to what US intelligence has concluded was a sweeping effort to tilt the 2016 vote in Trump’s favour.

Trump has consistently rejected charges that he or his campaign colluded with Russia — tweeting earlier this week about “the phony Russia investigation where, by the way, there was NO COLLUSION (except by the Dems).”

The complaint lays out a detailed chronology of activity largely in the public sphere, thanks to news reports and previous court proceedings.

The events include a June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower between members of Trump’s team and a Russian lawyer and a series of emails and messages that Democrats say confirm coordination between Russia and Trump’s campaign.

Manafort, who has been indicted for money laundering and tax evasion related to his work for Ukraine’s pro-Russia government, is also in the Democrats’ spotlight, along with former campaign advisor George Papadopoulos, who tried to arrange a Moscow trip for Trump, and Aras Agalarov, a Russian oligarch with reputed close ties to President Vladimir Putin.

Whether the lawsuit heads to litigation is unclear. Many countries have immunity from US lawsuits, so suing Russia has its challenges.

While the suit seeks compensation for the “damages and losses” suffered as a result of the hack, putting a financial value on the stolen emails — other than the $1 million the DNC said it cost the organization to re-secure its servers — might prove difficult.

AFP

Moon Jae-In Pulls Ahead In South Korea’s Presidential Election

The Democratic Party candidate Moon Jae-In is pulling ahead of South Korea’s presidential election on Tuesday.

The former civil rights lawyer, who completed his national service in the elite Special Forces, is widely viewed as a moderate willing to pursue diplomatic engagement with the DPRK aimed at halting its nuclear missile program.

These days Moon Jae-in often greets more like a South Korean pop idol than a 64-year-old former human rights lawyer.

Moon was a former presidential Chief of Staff who later ran against, and narrowly lost to, former president Park Geun-hye in 2012.

Moon said he will strive to make South Korea a prosperous, mature democracy that respects human rights and seeks peace on the peninsula, and that could talk with the DPRK’s leader Kim Jong-Un.

As a former Special Forces soldier Moon wants good relations with Pyongyang and Washington, but he also wants to build up the defenses so he doesn’t have to rely on the U.S. if confronted by the DPRK, experts said.

“I’ll make sure to stop any provocation from North Korea with an overwhelming defense. I want to lead the peace order in Northeast Asia. We are the owners of the Korean peninsula problem; we have to lead, right? ” said Moon Jae-In.

“Even the other candidates for presidency have good pledges, but they don’t have personality. But Moon Jae-in keeps his promises and he has a personality and that’s why I support Moon Jae-in,” said Jin Yoo-ra, Moon’s supporter.

Moon wants to generate jobs through massive state funded infrastructure projects, while his main rival Ahn Cheol-soo wants to stimulate small to medium businesses.

Moon also likes to compare his own modest background to that of some of his billionaire rivals.

“I think he is the candidate who is thinking most about electorates, that’s why I support him,” said Kim Sang-min, Moon’s supporter.

Reuters

 

Donald Trump Attacks US Intelligence Over Russia Hacking

Donald Trump Attacks US Intelligence Over Russia HackingUS President-elect, Donald Trump has made a fresh assault on America’s intelligence community.

He said on Twitter that an intelligence briefing he was due to receive on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election – which is said to have benefited Mr Trump – had been delayed.

It said: “The ‘Intelligence’ briefing on so-called ‘Russian hacking’ was delayed until Friday, perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!”

But US intelligence officials insisted there had been no delay in the briefing schedule.

Several US agencies including the FBI and the CIA believe Russia directed hacks against the Democratic Party and the campaign of its presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, releasing embarrassing information through WikiLeaks and other outlets to help Mr Trump win the election.

The hacking resulted in Barack Obama expelling 35 Russian diplomats as part of a raft of new sanctions.

“All Americans should be alarmed by Russia’s actions,” Mr Obama said, claiming the extent of data theft and cyber-attacks uncovered “could only have been directed by the highest levels of the Russian government”.

US Expels Russian Diplomats Over Alleged Election Intrusion

Russian Diplomats, Barack Obama, AmericaThe United States government has expelled 35 Russian diplomats as punishment for alleged interference into its presidential election.

The US also vowed to close two Russian compounds used for intelligence-gathering, in Maryland and New York, as part of a raft of punitive measures.

President Barack Obama had vowed action against Russia amid US allegations it directed hacks against Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party’s campaign.

Russia, however, denied any involvement in the November 8 elections, which saw Mr Donal Trump emerge the US President-elect.

Mr Trump had also dismissed the claims and described it as “ridiculous”.

Paolo Gentiloni Assumes Office As Italy’s PM

Paolo Gentiloni, Italy, Matteo RenziThe new Prime Minister of Italy, Paolo Gentiloni, has been sworn in and announced his new cabinet.

Mr Gentiloni succeeds Matteo Renzi who resigned after losing a referendum eight days ago.

The new government was sworn in by President Sergio Mattarella on Monday evening.

62-year-old Gentiloni, who is a loyalist from his predecessor’s Democratic Party (PD), is expected to largely follow the former administration’s programme.

He faces a banking crisis and a rise in popular support for anti-establishment and Eurosceptic parties.

Meanwhile, Pier Carlo Padoan remains economy minister while Angelino Alfano becomes the foreign minister.

Trump Denies CIA’s Report On Russia Meddling

Donald Trump, CIA, RussiaUnited States President-elect, Mr Donald Trump, says he does not believe a CIA assessment that Russian hackers tried to sway the election in his favour.

In an interview on Sunday, he blamed democrats for ridiculous reports that accused Russia of perpetrating the attacks.

Meanwhile, Russian officials have repeatedly denied the hacking allegations as senior republicans joined democrats in calling for a full investigation into the intelligence.

Republican senator and Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, John McCain, said in a joint statement with top democratic senator, Chuck Schumer and others that the CIA’s report should alarm every American.

The hacks, targeting emails at the Democratic Party and the emails of a key aide to presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, were said to have shaken the presidential campaign.

More Republican Bigwigs Sever Ties With Trump

Donald Trump, US, Women
Mr. Trump insists he wont quit the race despite the backlash

A handful of top Republicans have shifted ground in their support for US presidential candidate Donald Trump after his remarks about women became public last week.

Since the comments became public, more than 12 Republican bigwigs have announced that they would not be voting for Mr Trump in November.

Mr Trump, who has apologized over his comments, however insists he will go ahead with his campaign, as he lashes out to some Republicans who advised him to withdraw from the race.

In the tape from 2005, Mr Trump is reportedly heard bragging about groping and kissing women.

Former Republican presidential candidate John McCain and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice are the latest of such Republicans to withdraw their support.

Rice, Condoleeza, US, America, Elections, Republican, Party
Condoleezza Rice says it is enough from Trump, asking him to drop out of the race

Mr McCain said such comments “make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his (Trump) candidacy.”

While Ms Rice said: “Enough! Donald Trump should not be President. He should withdraw.”

The Republican Senator from New Hampshire, Senator Kelly Ayotte, in a statement she released after Mr Trump’s comments were published said, “I cannot and will not support a candidate for president who brags about degrading and assaulting women.”

The Senator however says she won’t vote for Hilary Clinton either.

The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Paul Ryan who was initially supposed to host Mr Trump at a campaign event in Wisconsin this weekend, withdrew the invitation, saying he is “sickened” by what he heard.

The second TV debate between Mr Trump and Mrs Clinton will take place on Sunday evening (October 9) in St Louis.

Hillary Clinton Vows To ‘Call Out bigotry’ As Feud With Trump Deepens

Hilary-Clinton-and--Donald-TrumpThe presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in the United States of America, Hillary Clinton, has said she will keep “calling out bigotry and racist rhetoric”, as a feud with Donald Trump deepens.

The Democrat made the promise in a statement on Saturday where she apologised for suggesting half of the Republican’s supporters were “deplorable” people.

“Grossly Generalistic”

Mr Trump had responded by saying the comment was “insulting” to “millions of amazing, hard working people”.

Mrs Clinton accepted that she had been “grossly generalistic” and that it was never a good idea.

She made the apology in a statement tweeted on her Twitter handle.

Polls released earlier this week suggest Mr Trump is gaining on Mrs Clinton, and the rivals are neck and neck in the key battleground states of Ohio and Florida.

Also commenting on Mrs Clinton’s statement, Mr Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, said: “They are not a basket of anything. They are Americans & they deserve your respect.”

Reince Priebus, head of the Republican National Committee, said Mrs Clinton had shown “her outright contempt for ordinary people”.

Millions of Americans, he said, supported the Republican nominee because they were “sick of corrupt career politicians like Hillary Clinton”.

The BBC reporters that other Republicans mocked Mrs Clinton, sharing photos of the crowd in the Florida venue where Mr Trump spoke on Friday.

The hash tag #BasketOfDeplorables has been trending on social media as indignant Republicans attack Mrs Clinton.

“A candidate who writes off half the country as a #BasketOfDeplorables should be disqualified”, was one comment on Twitter.

Apologising, Mrs Clinton said: “Last night I was ‘grossly generalistic’ and that’s never a good idea. I regret saying ‘half’ – that was wrong.”

“As I said,” she added, “many of Trump’s supporters are hard-working Americans who just don’t feel like the economy or our political system are working for them.”

But for most of the statement, she attacked her rival, accusing him of building “his campaign largely on prejudice and paranoia” and giving a national platform to “hateful views and voices, including by retweeting fringe bigots with a few dozen followers and spreading their message to 11 million people”.

“David Duke and other white supremacists see him as a champion of their values,” she said in the statement.

It was, she said, “really deplorable” that her Republican opponent was linked to people from the right-wing “alt-right movement”.

Hillary Clinton Gets Required Delegates For Democratic Nomination

Hillary ClintonReports say White House hopeful, Hillary Clinton may have clinched the democratic nomination for US President after reaching the required number of delegates.

An Associated Press (AP) count puts Mrs Clinton on 2,383 – the number needed to make her the presumptive nominee. If confirmed, she will become the first female nominee for a major US political party.

Clinton’s delegate count is expected to grow on Tuesday when six states, including California and New Jersey, hold contests.

Speaking in Long Beach, California, on Monday, Clinton said she was still focused on Tuesday and the votes that may come from those states.

“We are on the brink of a historic, historic unprecedented moment but we still have work to do, don’t we?” she said. “We have six elections tomorrow and are going to fight hard for every single vote, especially right here in California.”

Rival, Bernie Sanders, however, said that Mrs Clinton has not won as she is dependent on super delegates who cannot vote until the party’s July convention.

A Sanders campaign spokesman, Michael Briggs said that it was wrong to count the votes of super delegates before they cast ballots at the Democratic National Convention in July.

“Our job from now until the convention is to convince those super delegates that Bernie is by far the strongest candidate against Donald Trump,” Briggs said in a statement

But the AP said Mrs Clinton reached the threshold with a big win in Puerto-Rico and a burst of last-minute support from super delegates.

Clinton has 1,812 pledged delegates won in primaries and caucuses, and Sanders has 1,521. She also has the support of 571 super delegates, according to an AP count, compared to 48 for Sanders.

Bernie Sanders Beats Clinton In West Virginia Primary

Bernie SandersUS Presidential hopeful, Bernie Sanders, has recorded another victory against Hillary Clinton after winning the West Virginia primary in the democratic race for the White House.

The Vermont Senator still trails Mrs Clinton in the overall contest for delegates but this win keeps his slim hopes alive.

On the Republican side, Mr Trump was declared the winner in West Virginia and in Nebraska.

His last remaining rivals dropped out last week but remain on the ballot. However, Mr Trump faces a huge task in trying to get the Republican Party behind him, as doubts persist about his substance and style.

Bernie Sanders Wins Washington, Alaska And Hawaii

Bernie SandersBernie Sanders has taken a significant step towards catching up with rival Hilary Clinton, sweeping to victory in all three states that voted in the Democratic presidential primaries on Saturday.

Mr Sanders polled at least 70% in all three states, with the biggest prize being Washington state, as well as Alaska and Hawaii.

After Saturday’s caucuses, Sanders still trails Mrs Clinton by 1,243 delegates to 975, although he insists his campaign now has momentum.

Mr Sanders won 73% of the vote in Washington against 27% for Mrs Clinton, 82% in Alaska, against Clinton’s 18% while in the Hawaii caucus, Mr Sanders won by 70% to 30%.

In total, Mr Sanders won 55 delegates and Mrs Clinton secured 20.

More delegates from Washington will be allocated in coming weeks.

Bernie Sanders Hopes To Score Wins In West

sandersThree states are holding Democratic presidential nominating contests on Saturday where Hillary Clinton will try to expand her lead in the contest to secure the party’s nomination.

Bernie Sanders is hopeful that he could pick up wins in Washington, Alaska and Hawaii. While few public polls are available, all three contests on Saturday are being conducted with caucuses, a format that has favored the Vermont senator.

As he struggles to remain competitive, western states have become must-win for Sanders, who lost by large margins in earlier contests in the South.

Sanders and Clinton are competing to represent the Democratic Party in the Nov. 8 presidential election.

No states are holding Republican nominating contests on Saturday, a race where Donald Trump holds a lead over the remaining rivals U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Ohio Governor John Kaisch.

Clinton holds a sizable lead in the delegates race against Sanders. She has won 1,223 compared to Sanders’ 920. Despite needing to win about two-thirds of the remaining delegates, Sanders has vowed to stay in the race until the July convention in Philadelphia.

The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll shows Clinton and Sanders are virtually tied nationally.

Clinton has 47 percent of the Democratic vote, barely edging out Sanders at 46 percent. The poll, which was conducted last week, surveyed 1,249 likely voters. It has a credibility interval of 3.2 percentage points.

The biggest cache of delegates up for grabs on Saturday will be in Washington, where the two will be competing for 118 delegates. They will also be facing off in Alaska, where 20 delegates are at stake, and in Hawaii, which has 34 delegates.

Sanders has been campaigning aggressively in Washington, where the demographics and format favor him. He has done better in heavily white states and those that hold caucuses.

“What this campaign is about is not just a corrupt campaign finance system, it’s a rigged economy,” Sanders told a crowd in Vancouver, Washington.

Clinton has continued to campaign despite her delegate lead.

“We are on the path to the nomination and I want Washington to be part of how we get there,” Clinton told a crowd in Everett, Washington on Tuesday. “…It’s important to show up at this caucus on Saturday.”