00:19 GMT07 June 2020
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    The Democratic Party has initiated new legal proceedings, accusing the Trump campaign of conspiring with Russia and Wikileaks to undermine the US presidential elections in 2016. Sputnik discussed this with Anthony Moretti, Associate Professor in the Department of Communications at Robert Morris University.

    Sputnik: Why have the Democrats initiated this legal action now? What took them so long and what are they trying to achieve here?

    Anthony Moretti: What you have to do is look at the calendar and remember that with the November midterm elections coming up in just a few months, for the Democrats this is sort of a cash register decision I think. I don't often find myself in agreement with this political administration in Washington, I will admit that, but in this case I think that the president is probably spot on when he says, that this is probably a deflection, this is probably a bit of a distraction, but remember for Democrats that this is one of those sort of events that they should not and will not let go of until all of the information is out. My suspicion is that most of the information is already out, I don't suspect something new is going to be found here, but this again is a very good opportunity for Democrats to bang this drum a little more, and a little more loudly to try and raise some money.

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    Sputnik: Considering there's never been any solid proof of collusion, would this lawsuit make any difference?

    Anthony Moretti: The problem I think that they're going to face above anything else is that this is going to allow that sort of chaotic discussion and those chaotic pictures from the 2016 Democratic convention to come back into the public spotlight, and there's going to be questions about how much were the party officials really trying to ensure that Hillary Clinton was the nominee. Were they working against Bernie Sanders, if so, how and in what ways? I understand the idea of trying to shine that spotlight on the President and to try and raise the issue of collusion as a way to try and generate interest and support among party members. But if you're looking at it from an outside perspective there certainly is this 'wait a minute was it yours the party that it didn't look like you really didn't want Bernie Sanders to win?' aspect, and all of these accusations are going to come up. I'm not sure that's a good image you want, going into the 2018 midterm elections.

    Sputnik: One of the key things here are your points regarding the midterm elections in November and the way of deflecting that, but isn't the American audience, the American population rather sick and tired of this ongoing rhetoric from the Democratic Party? It's a bit like your previous boyfriend trying to win the girlfriend back and he's going to all end of means of try and get her back, but it's just not going to happen. They're continuing with this, they American population, surely they must be tired of this by now, aren't they?

    Anthony Moretti: I think that's fair statement to make. My suspicion is that at some level, as Robert Mueller's investigation winds down, my sense is that Democratic officials are probably becoming more and more convinced that whatever Mueller is going to find, it's going to be very little, if anything, directed directly at Russia, and is probably going to be much more directed at the President and either his personal contact or his personal business deals. Those are the kinds of things that make for a great scandal, great headlines and all those things, but that is much more of a domestic political issue rather than an international scandal, and I wonder, and I have no evidence to support this, this is at least I hope an educated guess, I wonder if the Democrats are becoming convinced, that you know what, sure this is a good thing if the President is embarrassed, but the whole collusion thing still does allow us to raise a lot of money.

    Sputnik: You make some very valid points; I can understand the rationale behind that. The Democratic party's lawsuit controversy has already been likened to the Watergate scandal, it is as big as that? What's your view in terms of this comparison? Is history repeating itself or is that a different story now? Can it be compared to Watergate or are we overstating the case with that really?

    Anthony Moretti: There's only a valid comparison if there is solid evidence that makes for a criminal conspiracy in that way. To this point there has been nothing concrete that has validated that. Does that mean that something could come up in the next few weeks, few months, few years? Sure, but as of now there is no concrete evidence to point to that, and until there is, I don't look at that comparison to be very solid or legitimate, because you need to have proof to back it up.

    The views of the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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