22 April, 2018
Perez said the party had not worked on the lawsuit with Democratic leaders on the intelligence committees in the House and Senate, who are investigating contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation through legislative investigations.
On Friday, Trump tweeted a similar message, expressing hope that Republican lawyers can use the suit to force the DNC to turn over computer servers hacked by Russian intelligence agents during the election.
President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Friday night to fire back at a Democratic Party lawsuit alleging a widespread conspiracy to tilt the 2016 election in his favor.
"In the Trump campaign, Russian Federation found a willing and active partner in this effort" to disrupt the presidential election, the Democratic committee alleges. In the document, the committee accuses Republicans and the Russians of "an act of previously unimaginable treachery".
"As Trump moved closer to securing the nomination, the ties between his campaign and Russia's government grew substantially", the lawsuit alleges.
The lawsuit blames the president too, saying he praised the illegal dissemination of DNC documents throughout the autumn of 2016, making it a central theme of his speeches.
"Just heard the Campaign was sued by the Obstructionist Democrats".
It said he began in June 2016 to control all campaign data-driven efforts including hiring Cambridge Analytica, the controversial data firm.More news: Tesla Model Y production planned to begin in November 2019
Documents filed in court allege that the campaign "gleefully accepted Russia's help" to win the election. "As an accurate publisher of newsworthy information WikiLeaks is constitutionally protected from such suits".
The BBC's Nick Bryant in Washington says the lawsuit by the DNC is seen as a publicity stunt by many there, as it may not unveil anything that is not already being examined in other investigations - but could keep the matter in the public eye. But Mueller has directly accused only former Trump campaign foreign policy aide George Papadopoulos of trying to work with Russian operatives to support the Trump campaign.
Denying any financial motivation, Perez said in an interview the lawsuit had been taking shape for months, and he recalled facing demands as early as winter 2017 to file suit against Trump for allegedly abetting foreign interference in a USA election.
While the investigation is ongoing, Perez said the DNC chose to move ahead with a civil suit because the committee believed there was an ongoing threat of foreign interference in USA elections and it was unclear when Mueller's probe might conclude. Certain claims in the lawsuit, he said, face statutory expiration dates.
WikiLeaks got all of this underway late on Friday, and there has been no response from the DNC so far.
Perez denied the lawsuit had a political objective, but he appeared to allude at points to the possibility that civil litigation might bring to light damaging information about Trump and his associates.
Ebony Bowden contributed reporting from NY.