Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Civil Suit Against the Trump Campaign Just Might Succeed

By Professor John T. Nockleby

This op-ed originally appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Three American voters have filed a civil lawsuit against the Trump campaign and onetime campaign adviser Roger Stone that has the potential to transform the investigations of Trump’s connections to Russian hackers during the 2016 presidential election. This lawsuit might succeed where others have not in exposing the Trump campaign’s alleged involvement in disseminating the emails stolen from the servers of the Democratic National Committee.

The lawsuit alleges what amounts to a quid pro quo agreement between the Trump campaign and the Russian government to secure Trump’s election in exchange for upending U.S. policy toward Russia.

While the U.S. Department of Justice and Congress are also investigating Russia’s interference in our election and potential Trump campaign or associate involvement, there are a number of critical differences between the FBI’s criminal investigation and the conspiracy lawsuit.

First, because it is a civil conspiracy as opposed to a criminal case, there will be a lower standard of proof to show agreement between the Russians and the Trump team. The plaintiffs would generally try to show this agreement through circumstantial evidence.

Read the complete op-ed.

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