Cockrum, Comer, and Schoenberg v. Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. and Roger Stone
Three Americans are suing the Trump Campaign and Roger Stone for violating their privacy and civil rights. They are seeking justice for the Trump Campaign’s role in their hacked, private information being distributed worldwide, and to make sure this never happens to anybody else.
The plaintiffs are a Reagan-era foreign service officer who grew increasingly worried about the direction of our national politics, a staffer who was making good on a lifelong dream to work in Washington, DC for causes he believed in, and a lottery winner who became a philanthropist to spend his winnings for the greater good.
As the complaint lays out, after Russian hackers stole their emails, their private information was published to the world as part of a calculated political strategy in which the Trump campaign played a central role. The result was a gross violation of their privacy in violation of District of Columbia law, with their social security numbers, medical information and details of their private lives made permanently public in ways that hurt them all deeply, as it would have any reasonable person.
Additionally, conspiring to injure Americans because of their participation in a Presidential election is a violation of federal civil rights law. No American should fear that the consequence of participating in our democracy is that their identity would be stolen or their personal, private information plastered on the Internet for all to see.
With the legal deadline for seeking justice approaching, the plaintiffs cannot wait for other law enforcement and intelligence investigations into coordination between Russia and Trump associates to run their course — they are making the difficult choice to come forward, knowing they will likely face further personal attacks. The plaintiffs want justice, they want the truth, and they want to prevent this from happening again to someone else.
- Complaint: Cockrum, Comer, and Schoenberg v. Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. and Roger Stone [7/12/17]
- Statement from Ian Bassin, Executive Director, Protect Democracy [7/12/17]
- Legal experts weigh in on Cockrum v. Trump Campaign [7/18/17]
- Trump Campaign Motion to Dismiss [9/5/17]
- Trump Campaign Anti-SLAPP Motion [9/5/17]
- Roger Stone Motion to Dismiss [9/5/17]
- Roger Stone Anti-SLAPP Motion [9/5/17]
- Amended Complaint: Cockrum, Comer, and Schoenberg v. Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. and Roger Stone [9/26/17]
Q: Who are the plaintiffs and why are they bringing this suit now?
A: The people bringing this suit are three American citizens who participated in the election by donating to a political campaign and working for a political party. Because of those actions, which are generally considered to be patriotic participation in our democracy, their private financial and personal information was stolen by Russian agents who then, as the complaint lays out, coordinated with Wikileaks and agents of the Trump Campaign to distribute it for political gain. The people who were harmed are bringing this suit before their statute of limitations runs out in order to seek justice and ensure this never happens to anyone else.
Q: What relief are plaintiffs seeking?
A: This suit seeks a remedy for the real harm suffered by the plaintiffs, caused by the coordination to release and disseminate hacked private information for political gain.
Q: What are the claims plaintiffs are bringing?
A: The principal claim is that the defendants, the Trump Campaign and its agents and associates, were involved in a conspiracy with Russia and WikiLeaks involving the public dissemination of private facts. Protection against this kind of dissemination of private facts is well-established in privacy law. The second claim is a federal civil rights claim involving conspiracy to injure citizens who have advocated on behalf of a Presidential candidate. The final claim is the intentional infliction of emotional distress, meaning that Americans’ privacy was violated intentionally or recklessly, causing the people who were harmed severe emotional distress.
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