Federal Judge Dismisses Trivial Lawsuit

US District Court Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle.

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

Last year, a couple of Democratic donors and a former mid-level staffer for the DNC filed a longshot suit against Roger Stone and the Trump campaign. They alleged that the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia to hack the DNC email server and publish the hacked material on Wikileaks. As a result, some of their personal information became public and caused them personal hardship: Social Security numbers were disclosed, they became targets of identity theft, family relationships were strained when one of them was outed as gay, etc. All of this led to “anxiety and distress.”

This was never likely to go anywhere and was barely even reported at the time. It had nothing to do with any Democratic Party organization. It was just three guys who filed a suit. Unsurprisingly, on Friday the suit was dismissed on technical grounds:

U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle said in a ruling Tuesday evening that the suit’s efforts to tie the Trump campaign and Stone’s alleged actions to the nation’s capital were too flimsy for the case to proceed in a Washington, D.C., court….But Huvelle made clear that her decision was a technical one based on issues of legal jurisdiction and was not a definitive ruling on allegations that the Trump campaign struck an illicit deal with the Russians during the presidential contest.

“It bears emphasizing that this Court’s ruling is not based on a finding that there was no collusion between defendants and Russia during the 2016 presidential election,” Huvelle wrote. “This is the wrong forum for plaintiffs’ lawsuit. The Court takes no position on the merits of plaintiffs’ claims.

So that’s that. It was a nothingburger case and the judge made no substantive ruling. Naturally that didn’t stop President Trump, who must have heard about it on Fox & Friends or something:

Trump didn’t win anything. The suit was not filed by the DNC. There was no ruling one way or the other about collusion with Russia. His entire tweet is a lie from beginning to end. As usual.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate