Roger Stone, an informal adviser to President Trump, is pushing back against an invasion of privacy lawsuit filed against him and the Trump campaign by former Obama administration lawyers alleging they conspired with the Russians to release hacked Democratic National Committee emails.
Stone dismissed the lawsuit as a "desperate maneuver of a pack of pathetic losers," in a statement to the Washington Examiner.
"The lawsuit is entirely without merit and their lawyers are courting sanctions," Stone said.
"There is no evidence whatsoever that I had advance knowledge of the hacking of the DNC e-mails if they were even hacked. I assume this is a publicity play and will be quickly dismissed for lack of evidence. I have instructed my attorneys to seek sanctions against the lawyers involved for the filing of a ridiculous frivolous lawsuit. The desperate maneuver of a pack of pathetic losers."
After the Washington Examiner published this statement, an attorney for Stone reached out to say his client has not seen the lawsuit.
"Mr. Stone has not seen the suit, nor has one been served," said the attorney, Grant Smith. "Mr. Stone does not know the three individuals or the organization representing them. Based on what has been described to him, Mr. Stone states unequivocally, that the suit is without merit, is blatantly untruthful, and not supported by one stitch of evidence."
The government watchdog group Protect Democracy filed the complaint in the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia just shy of a year after WikiLeaks published the first batch of stolen DNC emails. Multiple U.S. intelligence agencies say Russia hacked the emails to harm Hillary Clinton and help Trump.
The New York Times first reported the lawsuit.
Stone is testifying in private July 24 before the House Intelligence Committee as part of its probe of Russia's election interference and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.
He is expected to describe his communications last year with Russia-linked hackers and WikiLeaks.
In August of 2016, Stone told radio host Alex Jones he had "backchannel communications" with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange who has "political dynamite" on the Clintons.
Plaintiffs in the Protect Democracy case include Scott Comer, who was the chief of staff in the finance department of the DNC, and two Democratic donors, Roy Cockrum and Eric Schoenberg.
These plaintiffs allege they were personally harmed by the hacking because the released emails exposed information about their personal life.
The lawsuit says Comer's hacked emails included his revelation to his grandparents that he is gay. He eventually left his job, he said, because of threatening phone calls he received.
Cockrum and Schoenberg had their Social Security numbers, birth dates and home addresses made public by the published emails.
"While one of the objects of the conspiracy was to harm the Democratic Party's candidate for president of the United States and improve the Trump campaign's likelihood of success, the direct victims included Mr. Cockrum, Mr. Schoenberg and Mr. Comer," the complaint said.
The lawsuit does not present new evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians, but presents already published statements, and revelations about the defendants, including the disclosure that Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer who promised damaging information on Clinton.