A small group of Democratic donors and one DNC employee recently filed a lawsuit against the Trump campaign and Trump's lifelong henchman Roger Stone for violating their privacy by stealing and releasing their emails in 2016.
Trump campaign lawyers are now trying to have the case thrown out of court because, according to them, colluding with Russia is protected by the First Amendment.
But the Trump campaign—represented by Jeffrey Baltruzak, Michael A. Carvin, Nikki L. McArthur, and Vivek Suri, all of the law firm Jones Day—responded in a brief filed Tuesday that the campaign can’t be held legally responsible for WikiLeaks’s publication of the DNC emails.
Furthermore, the Trump lawyers argued, the First Amendment protects the campaign’s “right to disclose information—even stolen information—so long as (1) the speaker did not participate in the theft and (2) the information deals with matters of public concern.”
What qualifies as a matter of public concern?
I don't believe John Podesta's risotto recipe qualifies, but the Trump campaign lawyers aren't making that case. They're using unsubstantiated talking points straight from Trump and even Bernie Sanders.
“Indeed, the disclosed emails dealt pervasively with important public issues. They revealed the Democratic Party’s conduct during its presidential primaries—which are public processes ‘structur[ed] and monitor[ed]’ by the state. They revealed the DNC’s interactions with rich donors—educating citizens about the influence of ‘moneyed interests.’ And they revealed the closeness of the party’s ties to the media.”
I can't sit here and say that Trump is primarily responsible for spreading the myth that the DNC somehow rigged the 2016 primary.
Trump has done his fair share, to be sure, but Bernie Sanders and his campaign officials and surrogates made the case first. They fucked that chicken all the way to the DNC convention and continued talking about it through the next year even after the election was over.
I don't know how the court will rule in this case, but it seems significant that Trump's lawyers are out there arguing that conspiring with WikiLeaks isn't a crime. It's likely that they'll say the same thing when special prosecutor Robert Mueller's investigation is complete.