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Why Did a Wall Street Plaintiff’s Law Firm File the DNC RICO Lawsuit Against Trump’s Campaign

Courtesy of Pam Martens

Michael Eisenkraft, Law Partner at Cohen Milstein

Michael Eisenkraft, Law Partner at Cohen Milstein

If there’s any plaintiff’s law firm in America that should know racketeering when it sees it, it’s Cohen Milstein. It’s sued the major Wall Street banks repeatedly with a solid win rate for colluding to rig pretty much anything that trades. On Friday, in the same Federal District Court where its Wall Street actions are litigated, the Southern District of New York (SDNY), it filed its bombshell RICO lawsuit on behalf of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

The lawsuit does not name President Donald Trump as a defendant but it does name prominent members of his presidential campaign, including his son, Donald Jr., and son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and advisers, Roger Stone and George Papadopoulos are also named, as are the Russian intelligence service, Russian Federation, several Russian operatives, Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.

The lawsuit charges that “In 2015 and 2016, Russian intelligence services hacked into the DNC’s computers, penetrated its phone systems, and exfiltrated tens of thousands of documents and emails. Russia then used this stolen information to advance its own interests: destabilizing the U.S. political environment, denigrating the Democratic presidential nominee, and supporting the campaign of Donald J. Trump (‘Trump’), whose policies would benefit the Kremlin.”

The complaint describes the “conspiracy” as “an act of previously unimaginable treachery: the campaign of the presidential nominee of a major party in league with a hostile foreign power to bolster its own chance to win the presidency,” adding that WikiLeaks “disseminated the information at times when it would best suit the Trump campaign.”

Why Cohen Milstein would take this case is curious. It is currently involved in major class action cases against Wall Street banks, as is its lead attorney for the DNC lawsuit, Michael B. Eisenkraft. One of those cases is massive. It alleges that major Wall Street firms like Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and numerous others, rigged the $13 trillion U.S. Treasury market in order to increase their own profits. Eisenkraft is also involved in the Interest Rate Swaps Antitrust Litigation where he is the court-appointed co-lead counsel in an action that alleges that Wall Street investment banks conspired to prevent an alternative market for interest rate swaps from developing. Another one of his big cases is the Stock Lending Antitrust Litigation that charges major Wall Street banks with conspiring to prevent the stock lending market from developing and maturing by boycotting other platforms designed to increase transparency and reduce costs.

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