A federal judge rejected the Democratic case against Russia, WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign on Tuesday, which states that Russia was the main culprit and could not be charged under federal law. The Democratic National Committee filed the lawsuit last year and alleged that those three parties, and others related to it, had violated hacking and racketeering legislation in connection with the 2016 violation of the DNC's computer systems and the subsequent release of the private emails of the organization.
Russia cannot be sued because of the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act, which largely prevents lawsuits against foreign governments, wrote Judge John Koeltl, a Clinton employee in the southern district of New York. "The remedies for hostile actions by foreign governments are actions by the state," wrote Koeltl.
At the same time, WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign cannot be held liable for the distribution of stolen materials due to protection under the First Amendment, the judge ruled. Referring to the case of the Supreme Court that upheld the publication of the Pentagon Papers, the judge wrote that "the first amendment prevents such liability in the same way that it would exclude liability for press releases" that published illegally obtained material.
While the DNC also claimed that WikiLeaks and other parties played a role in hacking its e-mail accounts, Koeltl wrote that the organization "did not plausibly claim" that someone else was a participant, rejecting these claims. The DNC did not respond immediately to a request for comment.