Trump filed the suit in federal court in Florida in March, taking aim at how Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid for the Trump-Russia dossier compiled by ex-British spy Christopher Steele.
The parties “maliciously conspired to weave a false narrative that their Republican opponent, Donald J. Trump, was colluding with a hostile foreign sovereignty,” the suit stated, claiming Clinton and others violated federal statutes, including one against racketeering, while attempting to rig the 2016 election in favor of Clinton.
As further evidence of the scheme, Trump’s lawyers pointed to the effort by technology executive Rodney Joffe to exploit data from the Trump Tower, and after Trump took office, the White House to allegedly try to establish a link between Trump and Russia. Joffe has said he carried out the scheme to please “VIPs” he identified as people in the Clinton campaign and a law firm it hired, Perkins Coie, while Steele has alleged that Clinton herself was aware of what his firm was hired to do.
In the motion to dismiss, Clinton lawyer David Kendall said the alleged crimes cannot be adjudicated because too much time has passed since they were said to have been committed.
“Even were plaintiff’s claims timely, they are still meritless. To be clear, Clinton vigorously disputes the allegations in the complaint. But even taking those allegations as true, plaintiff fails to plead any cognizable legal causes of action,” Kendall wrote.
Clinton, through her counsel, is claiming that Trump’s “core grievance” against her “is the practice of politics” and arguing that statements she made regarding Russia, including the since-debunked claim of a secret channel between Trump and a Russian bank, were based on reports and aren’t enough by themselves to prove crimes were committed.
Clinton is asking U.S. District Judge Donald Middlebrooks, the Bill Clinton appointee overseeing the case, to toss all claims against her with prejudice, or leaving no ability for Trump to refile the suit.
Clinton is the first of the defendants, who include Joffe, Perkins, Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, Steele, and former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, to respond to the suit.
Some of the other defendants have asked for more time to respond, including Igor Danchenko, said to be Steele’s primary subsource for the dossier; former Clinton aide Charles Dolan Jr., and Joffe’s former firm, Neustar.
As of now, a jury trial in the case is slated to start on May 8, 2023.