Monday, July 17, 2017

The Tentacles Grow Ever Longer

Last week, a group called United to Protect Democracy filed suit against the Trump campaign and Roger Stone on behalf of three people whose emails and personal information were among the material stolen by the Russians and disclosed to Wikileaks. The suit alleges that the campaign and Stone conspired with the Russians to release information about the plaintiffs—who are not public figures—in a fashion that violates their privacy rights under D.C. law. and intimidates them out of political advocacy.


Before the litigation goes anywhere, after all, it's going to have to survive the inevitable motion to dismiss, and litigating that will take a while. But I think it's going to end up being a big deal, for a combination of reasons that I will spell out briefly. (Disclosure: United to Protect Democracy also represents me in some Freedom of Information Act requests.)


The pleading is rich—very rich and intentionally so, I suspect—with allegations that will provide for plausible discovery requests against all kinds of actors and on all kinds of subjects. It makes reference to the President's tax returns, for example. It names a large number of individuals, whose depositions plaintiffs might plausibly seek. One of the defendants is the campaign itself, meaning that the campaign's agents, actors, employees, and documents, are all potentially subject to discovery. So if I'm right that the suit eventually survives that initial motion to dismiss, it will immediately become a gold mine for journalists and investigators. And it will present an intense set of headaches for the Trump forces both inside and outside of government.

  Lawfare Blog
Continue reading.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

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