Federal Judge Dismisses Trivial Lawsuit

US District Court Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle.

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.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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