Federal judge dismisses DNC election-hacking lawsuit

Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member

Although US District Judge John Koeltl, a Clinton appointee, agreed that the Russian Federation was “undoubtedly” behind the hack, he ruled that it could not be sued. The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act indemnifies foreign government from facing civil lawsuits.

“The remedies for hostile actions by foreign governments are state actions,” wrote Koeltl in his ruling. In other words, Russia’s actions must be handled through diplomacy rather than through the judicial system.

Additionally, the judge ruled that WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign cannot be held liable for the leaking of the DNC emails without violating the First Amendment. Judge Koeltl cited precedent set by the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Pentagon Papers case.

“The First Amendment prevents such liability in the same way it would preclude liability for press outlets. If WikiLeaks could be held liable for publishing documents concerning the DNC’s political financial and voter-engagement strategies simply because the DNC labels them ‘secret’ and trade secrets, then so could any newspaper or other media outlet, but that would impermissibly elevate a purely private privacy interest to override the First Amendment interest in the publication of matters of the highest public concern. The DNC’s published internal communications allowed the American electorate to look behind the curtain of one of the two major political parties in the United States during a presidential election. This type of information is plainly of the type entitled to the strongest protection that the First Amendment offers.”

As for the DNC’s claims that WikiLeaks actively hacked its computers, Judge Koeltl ruled that the committee “failed to allege plausibly” that it was directly involved.

“It reaffirms some important First Amendment principles that apply to journalism across the board, regardless of whether you’re a powerful institution or a small independent operation,” WikiLeaks attorney Joshua Dratel told Courthouse News.

Adrienne Watson, a spokeswoman for the DNC said they are reviewing the decision and are worried about the precedent it sets.

“At first glance, this opinion raises serious concerns about our protections from foreign election interference and the theft of private property to advance the interests of our enemies,” said Watson in a written statement.

The case was dismissed “without leave to refile.” Neither Watson nor DNC lawyer Joseph Sellers indicated whether it plans to appeal.

Image credit: Gregory Reed via Shutterstock

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Evernessince

TS Evangelist
I agree with this decision although the DNCs summary of the situation is correct in that we as a country can do little when it comes to election interference. If it's the government's and government's job alone to deal with election interference and said government was helped put in place by that very action, it's clear what is going to happen. If America wasn't already up for sale to the closest corporate bidder, adding in other nation's interest will only diminish American voting power even more.
 
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Ludak021

TS Member
I agree with this decision although the DNCs summary of the situation is correct in that we as a country can do little when it comes to election interference. If it's the government's and government's job alone to deal with election interference and said government was helped put in place by that very action, it's clear what is going to happen. If America wasn't already up for sale to the closest corporate bidder, adding in other nation's interest will only diminish American voting power even more.
You are spot on! Your country can't help itself but interfere with every election in the World.
 

Plutoisaplanet

TS Addict
The DNC has harmed themselves moreso since the election happened than any Russian interference would have before it happened. I voted for Hillary in 2016 and am strongly leaning to voting for a Republican candidate in 2020. The funniest part is how much campaigning the DNC did *specifically* to damage Trump and the aftermath is only complaints that this harmful behavior was interfered with or that he was in cahoots with a foreign entity.

On election night, the fact that the only objective reporting I could find was PBS was just sad. Even Pew News is less biased today lmao.
 
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Black Paper

TS Member
It seems here the fatal flaw was involving Wikileaks as a defending party in the suit.
Wikileaks does act as a news outlet, but the criminal activity was perpetrated by Guccifer 2.0 ( the Russian asset ) and the co-ordination of Trump's campaign , (namely Donald Trump and Roger Stone alluding to soon-to-come DNC's disseminated to the release via Wikileaks).

My guess is they're form another suit, leaving Wikileaks out.
Shame that all of this is dragging Julian Assange through the mud.
#FreeJulianAssange
 
Interesting stuff, but just imagine still believing in elections in 2019 in the first place.

It's like nobody bothered to look at the numbers from ANY major election, ever. Just a fantasy land. Fictional reality.