Trump-Russia conspiracy case will likely go forward

Lawyers for three Americans suing the Trump campaign and Roger Stone for violating their privacy and civil rights, asserting that the defendants hacked private information and distributed it worldwide, say they are confident the case will move forward following Monday’s hearing on a motion to dismiss the case.

Because conspirators typically conceal evidence of a conspiracy, the law does not require plaintiffs to prove their case to proceed at this stage, but only to show their allegations are plausible.

“There is no doubt that Russia interfered in our election,” said Protect Democracy’s Executive Director, Ian Bassin, in a statement. “That was the unanimous conclusion of America’s intelligence community, recently confirmed by the bipartisan conclusions of the Senate Intelligence Committee.”

“The evidence that they conspired with the Trump Campaign in that assault on our democracy grows with every passing day,” said Bassin. “And while all Americans and our democracy were the targets of this attack, there also were individual Americans who suffered specific, unique harms and they are seeking justice in the courts.”

The plaintiffs are American citizens who were punished for participating in the political process and they want to make sure this never happens to anybody else.

They include a Reagan-era foreign service officer who grew increasingly worried about the direction of our national politics, a staffer who was making good on a lifelong dream to work in Washington, DC for causes he believed in, and a lottery winner who became a philanthropist to spend his winnings for the greater good.

Scott Comer was a mid-level staffer at the Democratic National Committee and Eric Schoenberg, who once worked at the State Department, is a businessman who has supported candidates of both parties.

Roy Cockrum was an Episcopal monk until left the brotherhood in 2007 to care for his ailing parents.

In 2014, Cockrum won the Tennessee Powerball lottery, some of the proceeds from which he donated to candidates for public office and the Democratic Party.

As the complaint lays out, after Russian hackers stole their emails, private information about Comer, Cockrum and Schoenberg was published online as part of a calculated strategy in which the Trump campaign played a central role.

The result was a gross violation of their privacy in violation of District of Columbia law, with their social security numbers, medical information and details of their private lives made permanently public in ways that hurt them all deeply, as it would have any reasonable person.

Conspiring to injure Americans for their participation in a presidential election is a violation of federal civil rights law.

No American should fear that the consequence of participating in our democracy is that their identity would be stolen or their personal, private information plastered on the Internet for all to see.

The plaintiffs could not wait for other law enforcement and intelligence investigations into coordination between Russia and Trump associates to run their course because of legal deadlines for seeking justice.

They came forward, knowing they will likely face further personal attacks but the plaintiffs want justice, they want the truth, and they want to prevent this from happening again to someone else.

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