DC Daily: Democratic Party sues Trump campaign, Russian government, WikiLeaks over 2016 election
8:42 AM, Apr 20, 2018
10:30 AM, Apr 20, 2018
What’s happening in the political world:
Democratic Party files lawsuit over 2016 election
-- The Democratic National Committee is suing the Trump campaign, Russia, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and several associates of President Trump alleging a grand racketeering, hacking and fraudulent conspiracy that harmed Democrats through WikiLeaks' publication of internal party emails during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Those named in the lawsuit include several top Trump advisers who attended the now-infamous June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower, longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos and others.
The 66-page lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court on Friday lays out how the Trumps curried favor in Russia through their family business, and then Russia allegedly worked with Trump advisers before the presidential election to disseminate the spoils from a cyberattack of the DNC.
The Democratic Party says the conspiracy and the hacking hurt their relationship with voters, chilled donations, disrupted their political convention and subjected their staffers to harassment. The lawsuit outlines nearly every known communication between Trump advisers and Russians.
The Washington Post first reported the lawsuit.
Special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein last year to investigate Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election. As part of that mandate, Mueller is empowered to investigate any links between the Russian government and Trump campaign associates.
The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered "an influence campaign" in 2016 with the goal of undermining public confidence in the US democratic process and eroding Hillary Clinton's chances of winning the presidency.
Trump, however, has repeatedly insisted that there was no collusion between his campaign and the Russians, and has denounced the special counsel investigation as a "witch hunt."
Comey notes released on conversations with Trump
-- In his memos documenting conversations with President Trump, former FBI Director James Comey recounts Trump's "serious reservations" about then-national security adviser Michael Flynn as well as the President's concerns about media leaks and Trump's recollection of Russian President Vladimir Putin telling him that Russia had the "most beautiful hookers in the world."
The Comey memos provided to Congress on Thursday and obtained by CNN include documentation of seven conversations he had with Trump from January 7, 2017, through April 11, 2017. Four of the notes are classified and have been partially redacted, and three of them are unclassified.
There are several recurring themes through the conversations: Trump frequently brings up leaks to the media and they discuss trying to find the source of the leaks. Trump also at least twice brought up the "golden showers thing" and said he was concerned even if there was a small chance his wife had thought it was true.
In the January 7 memo, Comey writes that Trump interjected, "there were no prostitutes; there were never prostitutes" about his 2013 trip to Moscow.
In his January 28 conversation with Trump, Comey also writes that Trump said "the hookers thing is nonsense," but then later said that "Putin had told him, 'we have some of the most beautiful hookers in the world.'"
Comey also writes that the President said on January 28 he had "serious reservations" about Flynn, who soon left the administration and later pleaded guilty for lying to the FBI about his conversations with Russian officials.
Trump explained that his reservations about Flynn's judgment by discussing a story about a toast to British Prime Minister Theresa May and someone else who Flynn had said called before her after Trump was inaugurated, but Flynn had not told the President.
The unclassified memos include the now-famous conversation Trump had with Comey where he told Comey, "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go."
"I replied by saying, 'I agree he is a good guy,' but said no more," Comey writes.
Ex-Forbes reporter says Trump posed as spokesman, lied to him to embellish wealth
-- A former Forbes reporter claims that Donald Trump, before he was president, pretended to be a spokesman on his own behalf and then lied about his wealth in order to crack the Forbes 400 list.
"He figured out what he had to do in order to deceive me and get onto that list. And he did it very well. And he maintained that persona of just sort of talking about his assets without any sense of debt and lying about it," Jonathan Greenberg said in an interview Friday on CNN's "New Day."
Greenberg broke the news in a Washington Post story. He wrote that when he was compiling the magazine's list of the richest people in America in the 80s, Trump had called him posing as "John Barron," a purported executive with the Trump Organization.
Greenberg said Trump's actual net worth at the time was less than $5 million, though the magazine had listed it as $100 million for its first-ever Forbes 400 list.