- In his decision, he said the remedies for hostile actions by foreign governments are state actions including sanctions imposed by the executive and legislative branches of government.
- Judge Koeltl argued they can not be sued simply because they shared the materials once they were leaked.
- A judge in Washington said federal prosecutors must stop making salacious claims against the internet research agency named in Mueller's indictment.
A US federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Democratic National Committee which accused the Russian government, President Trump’s campaign and WikiLeaks of working together to influence the 2016 US election. District Judge John Koeltl in Manhattan dismissed the DNC’s lawsuit with prejudice arguing their claim that top officials in Trump’s campaign conspired with the Russian government to influence the 2016 election was presented without merit.
The lawsuit was mainly focused on accusations against Russia and the judge noted that he couldn’t hear those claims because the federal law governing sovereign immunity prevents litigation against foreign governments. In his decision, he said the remedies for hostile actions by foreign governments are state actions including sanctions imposed by the executive and legislative branches of government. He arguing that if the US wants to go after Russia for the claims made by the DNC which Moscow has repeatedly denied than it needs to be action taken by the federal government and not by the DNC.
In the original lawsuit, the DNC claimed top officials in the Trump campaign, as well as WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, should be held liable for sharing leaked emails from the DNC. But the judge shot down that notion and he noted that quote:
“The First Amendment, prevents such liability, in the same way, it would preclude liability for press outlets that publish materials of public interest despite defects and the way the materials were obtained”
Judge Koeltl argued that because there is no evidence that Wikileaks, Assange, Russia or Trump’s campaign were responsible for leaking the DNC emails, saying they can not be sued simply because they shared the materials once they were leaked.
This decision is notable because it comes at a time when Assange is still in jail in London and awaiting possible extradition to the United States where he faces charges of espionage for publishing classified materials that showed horrific acts by the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Although this judge has decided that Assange and WikiLeaks are protected by the First Amendment when it comes to publishing leaked materials, the federal government is still pursuing Assange for similar activity. There are fears that he won’t get a fair trial in Washington.
Mueller’s testimony last week was a major disaster. Mueller had no new evidence. People thought he would have new smoking-gun evidence to introduce but he had nothing new. He didn’t even appear to have much familiarity with his own report.
Also, in a case from earlier this month that didn’t receive much publicity, a judge in Washington said federal prosecutors must stop making salacious claims against the internet research agency named in Mueller’s indictment. It was California Congressman Tom McClintock who accused Mueller at the hearing of giving the public a false impression that it was the Russian government that was behind the troll farms that provided some disinformation during the 2016 election.