A federal judge has dismissed the Democratic Party's hacking lawsuit against the Trump presidential campaign, the Russian government, and WikiLeaks.
The Democratic National Committee filed hacking and racketeering cases against the three parties last year, alleging that the defendants had illegally accessed the DNC's computer systems and leaked private emails in 2016.
A Matter Of The State
However, Judge John Koeltl in New York identified Russia as the primary violator in the incident and as such cannot be sued under federal law. The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act prevents any lawsuit to be filed against foreign governments.
"The remedies for hostile actions by foreign governments are state actions," Judge Koeltl explained in his ruling.
The federal court added that the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks are protected under the First Amendment, which means they cannot be held liable for distributing the stolen information. Judge Koeltl used the Supreme Court's upholding of the Pentagon Papers' release as reference for his ruling.
"The First Amendment prevents such liability in the same way it would preclude liability for press outlets," Judge Koeltl wrote.
Aside from the Trump campaign, Russia, and WikiLeaks, the DNC also sued other individuals related to the organizations, including Senior Presidential Advisor Jared Kushner and presidential son Donald Trump Jr. for their alleged role in the breach of email accounts.
However, Koeltl tossed the DNC's claims because the group "failed to allege plausibly" that anyone else participated in the supposed hacking incident.
DNC spokesperson Adrienne Watson said the organization is still reviewing the federal court's decision.
Watson pointed out that Judge Koeltl's opinion raises "serious concerns" about protection against election interference by foreign governments and the theft of private property to help advance the interests of certain groups.
Victory For The Trump Administration
U.S. President Donald Trump commented on Twitter, claiming that the dismissal of the case was a victory against collusion allegations and investigation into his campaign's affiliates.
He wrote that the federal court's decision was a "complete vindication and exoneration" from the Russian, WikiLeaks, and every other hoax perpetrated by the DNC, the radical Democrats, and others.
The president also noted that the ruling was "really big stuff" especially since it was made by a highly respected judge who was a Clinton appointee.
Meanwhile, George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign aide and a co-defendant in the lawsuit, said the dismissal of the case is a big win for America and that it was another step to end the witch hunt against them.
The Trump campaign faced a similar breach of privacy lawsuit related to the 2016 hacking incident, but it was also dismissed previously.