Which of these Trump campaign aides is most vulnerable to legal action?
By Andrew Burns,Politico staffThe Republican National Committee is the most vulnerable member of the Trump administration to a lawsuit alleging that its top officials violated federal election laws by failing to disclose that the presidential election was being rigged by Russian agents during the 2016 campaign.
According to a filing Friday, the RNC is asking a federal judge in Maryland to dismiss the lawsuit by lawyers for the Trump campaign, including Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, saying the Trump camp and Lewandowski “failed to disclose any evidence to prove that they were involved in the election fraud scheme.”
The lawsuit, filed by the law firm representing Trump, is part of a broader effort to stop efforts by the Justice Department to investigate the Trump team’s role in the 2016 election, which the Republican president and GOP leaders have called a “hoax.”
Trump’s team, which had no involvement in the conspiracy theory, has been accused of conspiring with Russia to hack Democratic Party computers and steal emails, as well as of illegally using voter rolls and other information to make its case against Clinton.
But a U.S. District Court judge has dismissed all of the charges, ruling that the campaign and Lewandowskys did not knowingly violate election law.
The RNC’s attorneys argue that the federal election law is clear that a campaign or political party cannot be held liable for an election outcome that it knew was being manipulated by the foreign government, and that the Trump case is an example of the kind of legal malpractice that could come under scrutiny if the RNC were found to have violated the law.
According the complaint, the Trump attorneys and their law firm, Jones Day, “failed miserably” to provide evidence of Russian involvement in any of the 2016 campaigns.
The attorneys also argued that they did not have any evidence of any wrongdoing by the Trump staff.
The complaint also alleges that the RNC’s lawyers failed to properly protect against Russian interference.
In a July 2017 filing, the plaintiffs alleged that the party and its members “were negligent” in protecting information they knew about from Russian hackers.
“The RNC did not disclose to the [Justice Department] any evidence that its leadership knew about and conspired with the Russian Government to violate U.K. and U.N. election laws,” the complaint says.
“Instead, the [Trump] campaign and its principals relied on false, misleading, and false statements by the [Clinton] campaign to argue that it was not a party to the Russian election interference conspiracy.”
The RNC has been the target of several investigations by the FBI, as part of the probe into Russian interference in the U. S. election.
The Trump campaign and the Justice department have denied any wrongdoing.
The Trump team also dismissed the Justice investigation.