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DNC suing Trump and Russia because US has ‘not imposed sufficient costs" on Moscow for election meddling: Perez

ABCNews.com
ABCNews.com

(WASHINGTON) — The chairman of the Democratic National Committee said the party’s civil lawsuit against the Trump campaign and Russia aims to deter Moscow from interfering in the 2018 midterm elections.

“We have to deter misconduct,” Tom Perez told ABC News’ Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” Sunday. “We’ve got elections coming up in November. It’s hard to win elections when you have interference in elections. And they’ve done it with impunity. And I’m concerned that it’s going to happen again.”

The Democratic Party is working to create a “strong voter protection infrastructure,” Perez added. “And one way to make sure we protect voters this November is to make sure we are doing our level best to insure that interference never occurs again.”

The Democratic National Committee filed a sweeping lawsuit in federal court Friday alleging collusion between Russians and Trump campaign operatives in the 2016 election and naming the Russian government, the Trump campaign, Trump family members, WikiLeaks and others. The suit claims a wide-ranging “Russia-Trump conspiracy” and is based on the same anti-racketeering statutes that have been used against underworld criminals.

The Trump campaign in a statement Friday called the lawsuit “frivolous” and a “last-ditch effort” to validate the “baseless” claim that Trump conspired with the Kremlin.

“This is a sham lawsuit about a bogus Russian collusion claim filed by a desperate, dysfunctional, and nearly insolvent Democratic Party,” said Brad Parscale, Trump’s campaign manager.

Stephanopoulos on “This Week” asked Perez about criticism from David Axelrod, a fellow Democrat who worked as chief strategist for Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns. Axelrod tweeted Friday night that the DNC suit was “spectacularly ill-timed” and would support Trump’s portrayal of the federal Russia investigation as “a partisan vendetta.”

Perez responded, “We’ve done our homework.”

“Over the course of the last year, we have seen story after story, brick after brick in the conspiracy between the Russians and the Trump campaign to affect the outcome of the election,” the DNC chief said. “We have a strong case. That’s why we brought it.”

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