Democratic National Committee's Lawsuit Against Russians, Wikileaks And Various Trump Associates Full Of Legally Nutty Arguments

from the slow-down-there-dnc dept

This morning I saw a lot of excitement and happiness from folks who greatly dislike President Trump over the fact that the Democratic National Committee had filed a giant lawsuit against Russia, the GRU, Guccifier 2, Wikileaks, Julian Assange, the Trump campaign, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone and a few other names you might recognize if you’ve followed the whole Trump / Russia soap opera over the past year and a half. My first reaction was that this was unlikely to be the kind of thing we’d cover on Techdirt, because it seemed like a typical political thing. But, then I looked at the actual complaint and it’s basically a laundry list of the laws that we regularly talk about (especially about how they’re abused in litigation). Seriously, look at the complaint. There’s a CFAA claim, an SCA claim, a DMCA claim, a “Trade Secrets Act” claim… and everyone’s favorite: a RICO claim.

Most of the time when we see these laws used, they’re indications of pretty weak lawsuits, and going through this one, that definitely seems to be the case here. Indeed, some of the claims made by the DNC here are so outrageous that they would effectively make some fairly basic reporting illegal. One would have hoped that the DNC wouldn’t seek to set a precedent that reporting on leaked documents is against the law — especially given how reliant the DNC now is on leaks being reported on in their effort to bring down the existing president. I’m not going to go through the whole lawsuit, but let’s touch on a few of the more nutty claims here.

The crux of the complaint is that these groups / individuals worked together in a conspiracy to leak DNC emails and documents. And, there’s little doubt at this point that the Russians were behind the hack and leak of the documents, and that Wikileaks published them. Similarly there’s little doubt that the Trump campaign was happy about these things, and that a few Trump-connected people had some contacts with some Russians. Does that add up to a conspiracy? My gut reaction is to always rely on Ken “Popehat” White’s IT’S NOT RICO, DAMMIT line, but I’ll leave that analysis to folks who are more familiar with RICO.

But let’s look at parts we are familiar with, starting with the DMCA claim, since that’s the one that caught my eye first. A DMCA claim? What the hell does copyright have to do with any of this? Well…

Plaintiff’s computer networks and files contained information subject to protection under the copyright laws of the United States, including campaign strategy documents and opposition research that were illegally accessed without authorization by Russia and the GRU.

Access to copyrighted material contained on Plaintiff’s computer networks and email was controlled by technological measures, including measures restricting remote access, firewalls, and measures restricting acess to users with valid credentials and passwords.

In violation of 17 U.S.C. § 1201(a), Russia, the GRU, and GRU Operative #1 circumvented these technological protection measures by stealing credentials from authorized users, condcting a “password dump” to unlawfully obtain passwords to the system controlling access to the DNC’s domain, and installing malware on Plaintiff’s computer systems.

Holy shit. This is the DNC trying to use DMCA 1201 as a mini-CFAA. They’re not supposed to do that. 1201 is the anti-circumvention part of the DMCA and is supposed to be about stopping people from hacking around DRM to free copyright-covered material. Of course, 1201 has been used in all sorts of other ways — like trying to stop the sale of printer cartridges and garage door openers — but this seems like a real stretch. Russia hacking into the DNC had literally nothing to do with copyright or DRM. Squeezing a copyright claim in here is just silly and could set an awful precedent about using 1201 as an alternate CFAA (we’ll get to the CFAA claims in a moment). If this holds, nearly any computer break-in to copy content would also lead to DMCA claims. That’s just silly.

Onto the CFAA part. As we’ve noted over the years, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act is quite frequently abused. Written in response to the movie War Games to target “hacking,” the law has been used for basically any “this person did something we dislike on a computer” type issues. It’s been dubbed “the law that sticks” because in absence of any other claims that one always sticks because of how broad it is.

At least this case does involve actual hacking. I mean, someone hacked into the DNC’s network, so it actually feels (amazingly) that this may be one case where the CFAA claims are legit. Those claims are just targeting the Russians, who were the only ones who actually hacked the DNC. So, I’m actually fine with those claims. Other than the fact that they’re useless. It’s not like the Russian Federation or the GRU is going to show up in court to defend this. And they’re certainly not going to agree to discovery. I doubt they’ll acknowledge the lawsuit at all, frankly. So… reasonable claims, impossible target.

Then there’s the Stored Communications Act (SCA), which is a part of ECPA, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which we’ve written about a ton and it does have lots of its own problems. These claims are also just against Russia, the GRU and Guccifer 2.0, and like the DMCA claims appear to be highly repetitive with the CFAA claims. Instead of just unauthorized access, it’s now unauthorized access… to communications.

It’s then when we get into the trade secrets part where things get… much more problematic. These claims are brought against not just the Russians, but also Wikileaks and Julian Assange. Even if you absolutely hate and / or distrust Assange, these claims are incredibly problematic against Wikileaks.

Defendants Russia, the GRU, GRU Operative #1, WikiLeaks, and Assange disclosed Plaintiff’s trade secrets without consent, on multiple dates, discussed herein, knowing or having reason to know that trade secrets were acquired by improper means.

If that violates the law, then the law is unconstitutional. The press regularly publishes trade secrets that may have been acquired by improper means by others and handed to the press (as is the case with this content being handed to Wikileaks). Saying that merely disclosing the information is a violation of the law raises serious First Amendment issues for the press.

I mean, what’s to stop President Trump from using the very same argument against the press for revealing, say, his tax returns? Or reports about business deals gone bad, or the details of secretive contracts? These could all be considered “trade secrets” and if the press can’t publish them that would be a huge, huge problem.

In a later claim (under DC’s specific trade secrets laws), the claims are extended to all defendants, which again raises serious First Amendment issues. Donald Trump Jr. may be a jerk, but it’s not a violation of trade secrets if someone handed him secret DNC docs and he tweeted them or emailed them around.

There are also claims under Virginia’s version of the CFAA. The claims against the Russians may make sense, but the complaint also makes claims against everyone else by claiming they “knowingly aided, abetted, encouraged, induced, instigated, contributed to and assisted Russia.” Those seem like fairly extreme claims for many of the defendants, and again feel like the DNC very, very broadly interpreting a law to go way beyond what it should cover.

As noted above, there are some potentially legit claims in here around Russia hacking into the DNC’s network (though, again, it’s a useless defendant). But some of these other claims seem like incredible stretches, twisting laws like the DMCA for ridiculous purposes. And the trade secret claims against the non-Russians is highly suspect and almost certainly not a reasonable interpretation of the law under the First Amendment.

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Comments on “Democratic National Committee's Lawsuit Against Russians, Wikileaks And Various Trump Associates Full Of Legally Nutty Arguments”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Wow! Really ARE trying to re-write past and re-make yourself!

Oh, I know: every time someone points out one of Techdirt’s / Masnick’s reverses, some "AC" comments that it’s always been eclectic.

Baloney. Techdirt is uniformly "liberal / Democrat" and shills for Google on everything of importance, for the 8 years I’ve been looking in.

Anyhoo: HA, HA! This too nutty even for you, hastily write to distance yourself!

PS: What a DULL MEAGER week here, WORST ever — under last week! I’m still predicting Techdirt won’t be on the net next year.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Wow! Really ARE trying to re-write past and re-make yourself!

“I’m still predicting Techdirt won’t be on the net next year.”

Whatever will you do with your time? Finally leave the basement? Ask your mom to buy a different flavor of hot pockets in celebration of TD’s demise? Shave your neckbeard? Oh the possibilities!

MikeC (profile) says:

Doesn't this open the DNC to discovery?

I mean now the defendants can go after everything the democrats have in hand, if they are suing under DMCA they can request discovery of those documents, etc.. right? Not mention the few emails they might have <grin> and tons of other documentation, servers, etc. How does the DNC prove this without showing what was hacked/influenced/stolen right? Sure to get leaked too.

My prediction is that this case will be dropped about Nov 7th…but until then it will allow the DNC and it’s PR folks to say/leak/fabricate anything they want as commentary and it will be backed/reported as gospel by their supporting media outlets.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Doesn't this open the DNC to discovery?

A bit confused here, perhaps you could assist …
Since when did a politician need an excuse/rational to lie?
Politicians lie on a routine basis and with such little difficulty they seem to be not lying and everyone gets all comfy forgetting that it is all lies. I doubt some of them even realize it when they are telling lies as they are habitual liars some bordering upon psychosis.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Lies of a politician

Politically useful lies are the ones that justify policy the official wants to implement regardless of whether or not the lie is true.

A famous example is Arizona’s Republican Senator Jon Kyl’s well over 90% of Planned Parenthood’s budget is abortions.

Kyl wanted to defund Planned Parenthood regardless of how much of its budget was abortions, but his falsehood helped Kyl’s base justify agreeing with Kyl in attacking Planned Parenthood.

That’s where Stephen Colbert’s #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement meme came from, based the response from Kyl’s aids when Stephen called his office asking what he meant saying such a thing on the floor.


Re: Re: Re: Lies of a politician

The problem with Planned Parenthood’s budget isn’t abortions. It’s the political lobbying that also includes various “intersectional” causes completely unrelated to Planned Parenthood’s mission to abort fetuses.

They don’t behave like St Jude’s or Scottish Rite.

If this interferes with their mission to be a primary care provider in rural counties then this is on them.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 The point remains: lies on the floor.

As Jon Stewart observed, it’s just considered acceptable parlance to use bullshit statistics on the Senate floor. Kyl didn’t get called out for it by his colleagues. The fact that he was able to lie so plainly and not lose any stature shows how little real facts matter to our nation’s governing bodies.

If our representatives feel they can legislate based on bullshit, it puts a crimp on their ability to provide good governance.

Planned Parenthood, like any large organization, has its problems, but that they provide abortions (or more than abortions) is the only thing discussed about them in Washington, so we’re not even at a step where other more real issues can be considered. Planned parenthood is incidental to the greater problems that cause our system of government to fail daily and do damage in our society.

Wendy Cockcroft (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 The point remains: lies on the floor.

One of those problems is the "Wimmin be hos" rationale used to attack Planned Parenthood over supplying contraceptives.

The trouble with the anti-choice brigade is not so much their utter refusal to look at the issues from the point of view of PP service users but their constant moving of the goalposts. They’re not even interested in saving "the fetus" they just want to control female sexuality while ignoring male sexuality.

If anyone who disagrees with that assertion can point me to a "Pro-Life" campaign to fund research into preventing miscarriages or to increase welfare for indigent mothers, I’d be grateful.

Kyrill says:

The further hole

They are also suggesting that they can establish, ahead of Mueller, that Guccifer 2.0 is Wikileaks’ source (despite evidence that he was a lone intelligence operative who independently hacked Clinton) and that Wikileaks worked with Trump, which again evidence like their leaked private DMs would suggest didn’t happen.

dcfusor (profile) says:

Re: The further hole

William Binney’s analysis showed the “hack” was copied at 22 megabytes a second. Far faster than any line from that server to a possible hacker, but right at USB stick speed. Assange has kinda hinted at Seth Rich as the source. I leave it to the interested reader to search those names for their credibility, story and possible motivations. DNC better have some real good ‘splainin on tap here.

DiscontentedMajority (profile) says:

Re: Re: The further hole

I thought it was Seth Rich when it happened and still think it was Seth Rich.

You only needed to read the things he was writing in the months before he died to figure it out. He was talking about how he was really excited to start working with the Democratic party and thought he was going to be a force for positive change. Then how he began to become deeply disappointed after finding some shit out about the things the party was doing.

Then he goes dark for a while, the leaks happen and he turns up dead. Then Julian Assange offers a $25,000 reward for info on his killers.

Richard (profile) says:


First of all some disclaimers:

1. I’m not in the US

2. If I was in the US I would have voted Democrat at every election from 1972 – 2012 without really needing to think about it.

3. In 2016 I might have had some doubts because of Hillary’s anti-Russian paranoia and Involvement with Saudi Arabia – however the domestic healthcare issue would probably have swung me.

Now to the point:

The Democrat establishment has been making a complete fool of itself over Russia etc ever since the 2016 election – and this lawsuit just takes the biscuit….

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Hmm

It sounds like the world’s longest political case of what amounts to “sour grapes” for Hilary Clinton being denied the White House. It’s ridiculous.

Whatever happened to being a “good loser”? You say “the people have spoken, but we’re still be there, stronger than ever, the next time”, we’ll support the guy who won and wish them the best, bla bla. That’s the PR speak you push out and then work quietly at doing all this bad PR for the other guy if you can get away with it.

These attempts aren’t very quiet and make the DNC look like they don’t have their collective shit together, either.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Hmm

“the people have spoken”

… and they overwhelmingly said – Not Trump!
not only at the polls but at the inauguration.

“Whatever happened to being a “good loser”?”

– idk, why don’t you ask trump, as he seems to be the biggest loser here and he does not like it at all.

MikeC (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Hmm

Hillary hijacked the Democratic Party
She stole the nomination
Got debate questions ahead of time
Bury evidence by deleting emails
Finance a fake dossier on Trump
Weaponize FBI and use the fake dossier to get warrants
Outspend your opponent by more than double (Trump
spent 62% less per electoral vote than Hillary
Promise free stuff to just about everyone
Spy on your opponent

and STILL LOSE!!! Then call the man who beat you INCOMPETENT. You all have to see the unbelievable irony of blaming it on anyone but Hillary right?

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: "the people have spoken"

Except the people haven’t spoken. Trump only won on a technicality, and while we can let that slide once in a great while, Bush won on that same technicality, and it’s beginning to look like GOP presidential candidates can only win on technicalities and by cheating (e.g. voter suppression, nationwide Gerrymandering programs and demagoguery). If the GOP keeps winning the presidency without the popular vote either we’re going to route around it (that process is already been started) or we’re going to start losing states to it, especially should future, smarter Trump-types start using the intelligence state to quash dissent.

Trump is the test case that proves that the electoral college doesn’t protect the nation from mob rule. Trump was a crazed, authoritarian, narcissistic candidate, and he is a crazed, authoritarian, narcissistic president. And the point of the electoral college was to serve as a stopgap from the people voting in people like Trump. And it failed.

As for the DNC, they may have to come to terms with their inability to serve the rest of us for way too long. They’ve been the lesser evil for decades (still corporate, but not as much, and occasionally throwing the public a bone) and so those of us who might have voted Democrat because the only other choice was Republican are realizing that’s not going to make the changes the nation needs to hold together and return to being a nation for the people.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: "the people have spoken"

Except the people haven’t spoken. Trump only won on a technicality,

Not so. Trump won according to the rules as they stood at the time of the election. Had the rules been different then the Trump campaign would have been run differently. You have no means of knowing what would have happened had the popular vote been the official criterion.

Now as it happens I totally agree that the rules are wrong and unfair (and the ones here in the UK are even worse – we had a referendum here a while back to try and change them but of failed abysmally).

The problem is that the time to recognise that the rules are wrong and change them is when you just won according to the existing rules. Problem is that that never seems to be a priority.

Bush won on that same technicality

Strictly no – although Gore also won the popular vote he did in fact also win the election according to the prevailing rules – as was discovered when the votes were finally counted properly. Bush didn’t win on a technicality – he didn’t win at all and stole the presidency by bullying the courts. Gore gave up too easily.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 "the people have spoken"

The problem is that the time to recognise that the rules are wrong and change them is when you just won according to the existing rules.

That would have been during the Reconstruction Era, about 1865-70, when the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments were ratified.

The essential point of the electoral college was never really, as Hamilton claimed in Federalist 68

The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. . . .

No. That’s just a rationalization.

But really, the electoral college was adopted as a compromise among the states. A compromise, in large part, needed to paper over the great moral failure inherited from peculiar colonial institutions.


Re: Re: Re:3 "the people have spoken"

The real purpose of the electoral college is so that New York and Virginia don’t get to bully the rest of the states. You can revise that in modern times to be New York and California.

It turns out that the rest of the country predictably object to many of the arrogant idea expressed by people in the coastal states (and repeated by Hillary).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Arrogant ideas of people in coastal states

The electors are chosen by the parties before the election, often in a vote at a convention.

The BBC did not write that sentence particularly well. In context, though, it should be obvious that they’re referring to selection of candidates for elector.

The parties choose candidates for elector who pledge to vote for that party’s presidential nominee. The voters in each state’s general election then actually vote on the various candidates for elector.

Somewhat confusingly, the voter’s general election ballot shows a nominal choice of presidential candidates rather than elector candidates. Most voters in the general election have no real clue who the electors they’ve voted for actually are.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Arrogant ideas of people in coastal states

Trump was elected by Republican electors.

For folks familiar with a Westminster-style government, where a parliament chooses a prime minister as head of government, the US’s indirect presidential election should not appear entirely alien.

The ultimate significant difference is that the US president is not only head of government, but also head of state. No king or queen here.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Arrogant ideas of people in coastal states

…extra details.

I might also add, for some historical perspective, that Georgius Tertius, Dei Gratia, Magnae Britaniae, Franciae & Hiberniae, Rex, Fidei Defensor, Dux Brunsvicensis & Luneburgensis, Sacri Romani Imperil Archi-Thesaurarius & Princeps Elector &c. [r. 1760 –1776 (thirteen colonies) –1820 (elsewhere)] was much more active in the affairs of government than would probably be permitted to a monarch of the United Kingdom today.

In other words, one might possibly better compare the US indirect presidential election against a Westminster-style system of the 18th century.

Koby (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 "the people have spoken"

“Strictly no – although Gore also won the popular vote he did in fact also win the election according to the prevailing rules – as was discovered when the votes were finally counted properly.”

This is false.

Florida newspaper the Miami Herald conducted several recounts after the election. Algore still would have lost in the recount that he wanted, or the recount that the Florida Supreme Court wanted. In fact the only recount scenario that Algore might have won was a full state-wide recount, under the most restrictive standards, with ballot judges that favored Algore. However, this was the recount type that he feared most, and never asked for it as his recount remedy in court. Algore was the one bullying the courts to accept a limited recount, only in areas that favored him, under standards that favored him. It turns out that he would have lost that recount as well.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 "the people have spoken"

Actually it is more complicated even than that.

My statement is consistent with the evidence presented in the Wikipedia article on the subject, when you take overvotes into account as well as undervotes..

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: "the people have spoken"

those of us who might have voted Democrat because the only other choice was Republican are realizing that’s not going to make the changes the nation needs to hold together and return to being a nation for the people.

And that is also the result of the electoral rule that make the rise of a third force well nigh impossible.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 "the people have spoken"

So long as people believe that a third party cannot rise to power, it never will as few people vote for them. However if enough people start voting for them they will start to rise, and the other parties will take note.

Besides in a country that elected Trump, there is a chance that a good non party candidate could adopt a party to gain power, just like a bad one has


Re: Hmm

“Domestic healthcare issues” is why I wouldn’t vote Democrat.

Democrats want to give the government a monopoly on health care and hand it to the likes of Trump.

I don’t like either party being able to fuck up my cancer treatment. I would imagine/hope that Democrats would fear Republicans having this power.

The British press has some interesting things to say about Republicans/Tories being in charge of the national government medical monopoly.

Richard (profile) says:

Reasonable claims - not really

So… reasonable claims, impossible target.

Not really. There is a principle of sovereign immunity in US law. Now a few US laws may override this -eg JASTA which finally allowed the lawsuits against Saudi-Arabia to proceed.

However the case against Russia does not seem to fall into one of those categories, and of course the US post cold war attitude towards Russia has ensured that it stayed outside the set of countries who might have paid attention to a US legal claim.

Je Saist says:

His Name Was Seth Rich

Wikileak’s source was Seth Rich.

Seth Rich was *MURDERED* on a contract attached to the Clinton Campaign.

The Clinton Campaign actively worked to prevent the investigation of Seth Rich’s *MURDER*

Now; there is no question that every single state actor in the world had access to the DNC email server and the Clinton Email Server. We know this just because we know from the header files that those servers were running a Windows OS installation. Neither were running a UNIX or UNIX_Like system where the compiled code could have been reviewed.

We also further know that the IT Staff employed by a number of Democrats; Abid, Imran, and Jamal Awan; were “Islamic State” actors who were never given security clearances. We don’t know who they sold information to; but we do know that everything the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence saw they passed on.

We know; for an established fact; that those Islamic State actors did not properly secure sensitive, classified, or special-access content. That goes above and beyond the exposure of sensitive, classified, and special-access content exposed over un-secure channels by Hillary Clinton and her personal staff in that the DNC “IT Staff” was still able to access and expose data long after the Hillary Clinton server penetrations were made public.

In established fact; the only reason the Trump/Russia collusion story is still around is that Democrat’s have a hard time understanding that generally speaking; “Not everybody does it.” Think back to the peer pressure taglines of the 1980’s and “Everybody’s Doing It” to get the proper mental image.

The Democrat’s were in bed with Russian state actors. The Clinton Campaign was heavily involved with the Uranium One Deal. The Obama Administration was one of the most openly corrupt, if not the MOST openly corrupt, political administrations in the history of the United States. We witnessed Obama bowing before foreign state actors; even to the point of telling one foreign state actor to wait until after the election was over so Obama could do something unpopular once nobody was paying attention. We know, for an established fact; that members of Obama’s Administration were telling unstable third world dictators armed with Nuclear weapons to “Resist Trump” because the Obama Administration had a plan to remove Trump from office within a calendar year.

This is why the Democrat’s are in a full-flung frenzy over Donald Trump colluding with Russia. It is *WHAT* the Democrat’s themselves did; and the Democrat’s cannot imagine a world in which Donald Trump did NOT do the exact same things they did.

The Democrat’s cannot conceive of a world where a Republican is not as corrupt as a Democrat.

The Democrat’s cannot conceive of a world where a Republican has not committed the same crimes as a Democrat.

The Democrat’s colluded with Russian State Actors to interfere with the Trump Campaign. That’s an established fact concerning the one meeting Jared Kushner had with a Russian State Actor during the election. Agents attached to the DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE SET THAT MEETING UP. This isn’t unknown theory; it’s an established fact.

So of course Trump had to collude with Russia. It’s what the Democrat’s did, so it’s what Trump had to do.

Only; it’s not.

Generally speaking; Republican’s tend to be conservatives; tend to be ethical; tend to have moral standards; tend to be Christians; tend to not break the law; and generally don’t accept “The Ends Justify the Means” as an excuse for bad behavior.

So no; Trump didn’t collude with Russia. If he had; dontcha think that Russia would have yanked those chains as hard as they could have to stop the economic sanctions? Do you think that Russia wouldn’t have used all it’s information on Trump to strike back for the missile strike’s in Syria? Do you really believe that foreign state actors would have held their tongues and done nothing to remove Trump from office if they had the slightest bit of evidence that he colluded with them?


Cause if you do think that; I have a bridge from LA to Hawaii to sell you; cause you is so gullible you need a Stupid Sign from Bill Engvall to warn everybody else to stay away.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: His Name Was Seth Rich

Why would either party bother to collude with Russia?

What could Russia possibly do that they couldn’t more easily do themselves?

If what they planned to do was “dodgy” why would involving Russia make it any less dodgy?

On its ace it would simply make things worse if they got found out – and make no difference whatsoever if they didn’t.

Russia is a complete red herring either way – so what is it being used to deflect attention away from?

discordian_eris (profile) says:

Re: His Name Was Seth Rich

Generally speaking; Republican’s tend to be conservatives; tend to be ethical; tend to have moral standards; tend to be Christians; tend to not break the law; and generally don’t accept "The Ends Justify the Means" as an excuse for bad behavior.

Mercury poisoning is a terrible thing to behold. You definitely need another one of Alex Jones colonic tonics. Perhaps the EnerHealth Botanical’s Natural Body Detox and Colon Cleanse? Only $35 for something to flush the toxins from your mind.

Chip says:

Re: Re: His Name Was Seth Rich

Shut up, y9u Stupid “leftist”! Let the “Free Market” decide Whether mercury Poisoning is good for You!

That’s what I let my “doctor” do! He does not have a “medical License”, because who is the “Government” to regulate Who is and ISN’t a DOCTOR!

Every Nation eats the Paint chips it Deserves!Q

madasahatter (profile) says:

Re: Re:

With Watergate, a break-in in progress was discovered and the guilty were caught. Eventually, the connection to Nixon’s campaign was discovered and later Nixon’s involvement in the cover up.

In 2016, we have an incompetent DNC IT staff not properly secure the servers. The strong possibility of a DNC insider being the source. Plus the fact Hilary run an incompetent campaign as if she never bothered to read the Constitution.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Watergate complex is a group of six buildings in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, D.C., in the United States, known particularly for the infamous 1972 burglary of the Democratic National Committee, which ultimately led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.
Covering a total of 10 acres (4.0 ha) next to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the buildings include:
• Watergate West (2700 Virginia Avenue NW), cooperative apartments
• Watergate 600 (600 New Hampshire Ave NW), office building not involved in the Watergate scandal
• Watergate Hotel (2650 Virginia Avenue NW)
• Watergate East (2500 Virginia Avenue NW), cooperative apartments[2]
• Watergate South (700 New Hampshire Avenue NW), cooperative apartments
• Watergate Office Building (2600 Virginia Ave NW), the office building where the Watergate burglary happened

The Watergate Break-In

The origins of the Watergate break-in lay in the hostile political climate of the time. By 1972, when Republican President Richard M. Nixon was running for reelection, the United States was embroiled in the Vietnam War, and the country was deeply divided.

A forceful presidential campaign therefore seemed essential to the president and some of his key advisers. Their aggressive tactics included what turned out to be illegal espionage. In May 1972, as evidence would later show, members of Nixon’s Committee to Re-Elect the President (known derisively as CREEP) broke into the Democratic National Committee’s Watergate headquarters, stole copies of top-secret documents and bugged the office’s phones.

Deep Throat
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Deep Throat is the pseudonym given to the secret informant who provided information in 1972 to Bob Woodward, who shared it with Carl Bernstein. Woodward and Bernstein were reporters for The Washington Post, and Deep Throat provided key details about the involvement of U.S. President Richard Nixon’s administration in what came to be known as the Watergate scandal. In 2005, 31 years after Nixon’s resignation and 11 years after Nixon’s death, a family attorney stated that former Federal Bureau of Investigation Associate Director Mark Felt was Deep Throat. Felt was suffering from dementia at the time and had previously denied being Deep Throat, but Woodward and Bernstein confirmed the attorney’s claim.

Watergate Scandal Standard Explanation
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Watergate Scandal was a major political scandal that occurred in the United States during the early 1970s, following a break-in by five men at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. on June 17, 1972, and President Richard Nixon’s administration’s subsequent attempt to cover up its involvement. After the five burglars were caught and the conspiracy was discovered, Watergate was investigated by the United States Congress. Meanwhile, Nixon’s administration resisted its probes, which led to a constitutional crisis.

J. Edgar Hoover
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Died: May 2, 1972 (aged 77)
Watergate Break In: June 17, 1972

Investigation of subversion and radicals

Hoover was concerned about what he claimed was subversion, and under his leadership, the FBI investigated tens of thousands of suspected subversives and radicals. According to critics, Hoover tended to exaggerate the dangers of these alleged subversives and many times overstepped his bounds in his pursuit of eliminating that perceived threat.[39]
William G. Hundley, a Justice Department prosecutor, said Hoover may have inadvertently kept alive the concern over communist infiltration into the government, quipping that Hoover’s “informants were nearly the only ones that paid the party dues.”[40]

Florida and Long Island U-boat landings

The FBI investigated rings of German saboteurs and spies starting in the late 1930s, and had primary responsibility for counterespionage. The first arrests of German agents were made in 1938 and continued throughout World War II.[41] In the Quirin affair, during World War II, German U-boats set two small groups of Nazi agents ashore in Florida and Long Island to cause acts of sabotage within the country. The two teams were apprehended after one of the men contacted the FBI and told them everything. He was also charged and convicted.[42]
Illegal wire-tapping
During this time period President Roosevelt, out of concern over Nazi agents in the United States, gave “qualified permission” to wiretap persons “suspected … [of] subversive activities”. He went on to add, in 1941, that the United States Attorney General had to be informed of its use in each case.[43]

The Attorney General Robert H. Jackson left it to Hoover to decide how and when to use wiretaps, as he found the “whole business” distasteful. Jackson’s successor at the post of Attorney General, Francis Biddle, did turn down Hoover’s requests on occasion.[44]

Concealed espionage discoveries

The FBI participated in the Venona Project, a pre-World War II joint project with the British to eavesdrop on Soviet spies in the UK and the United States. They did not initially realize that espionage was being committed, but the Soviet’s multiple use of one-time pad ciphers (which with single use are unbreakable) created redundancies that allowed some intercepts to be decoded. These established that espionage was being carried out.

Hoover kept the intercepts – America’s greatest counterintelligence secret – in a locked safe in his office.

He chose to not inform President Truman, Attorney General J. Howard McGrath, or Secretaries of State Dean Acheson and General George Marshall while they held office.

He informed the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the Venona Project in 1952.[45][46]

Plans for suspending habeus corpus

In 1946 Attorney General Tom C. Clark authorized Hoover to compile a list of potentially disloyal Americans who might be detained during a wartime national emergency. In 1950, at the outbreak of the Korean War, Hoover submitted to President Truman a plan to suspend the writ of habeas corpus and detain 12,000 Americans suspected of disloyalty. Truman did not act on the plan.[47]

COINTELPRO and the 1950s

In 1956, Hoover was becoming increasingly frustrated by U.S. Supreme Court decisions that limited the Justice Department’s ability to prosecute people for their political opinions, most notably communists. Some of his aides reported that he purposely exaggerated the threat of communism to “ensure financial and public support for the FBI.”[48] At this time he formalized a covert “dirty tricks” program under the name COINTELPRO.[49] COINTELPRO was first used to disrupt the Communist Party USA, where Hoover went after targets that ranged from suspected everyday spies to larger celebrity figures such as Charlie Chaplin that he saw as spreading Communist Party propaganda.[50]

COINTELPRO’s methods included infiltration, burglaries, illegal wiretaps, planting forged documents, and spreading false rumors about key members of target organizations.[51] Some authors have charged that COINTELPRO methods also included inciting violence and arranging murders.[52][53]
This program remained in place until it was exposed to the public in 1971, after the burglary by a group of eight activists of many internal documents from an office in Media, Pennsylvania, and COINTELPRO became the cause of some of the harshest criticism of Hoover and the FBI.

COINTELPRO’s activities were investigated in 1975 by the United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, called the “Church Committee” after its chairman, Senator Frank Church (D-Idaho); the committee declared COINTELPRO’s activities were illegal and contrary to the Constitution.[54]

Hoover amassed significant power by collecting files containing large amounts of compromising and potentially embarrassing information on many powerful people, especially politicians. According to Laurence Silberman, appointed Deputy Attorney General in early 1974, FBI Director Clarence M. Kelley thought such files either did not exist or had been destroyed. After The Washington Post broke a story in January 1975, Kelley searched and found them in his outer office. The House Judiciary Committee then demanded that Silberman testify about them.

Watergate Scandal – Alternate Explanation

The Watergate Scandal was a major political scandal that occurred in the United States during the early 1970s, following a break-in by five men of the Soviet Consulate located in Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. on June 17, 1972. The FBI operating as a shadow government bated high level intelligence operatives (including at least one CIA type, an agency the FBI despises) into breaking into the consulate for high level soviet files and reports. The FBI then conveniently arranged for a Watergate guard to discover the break in before the buglers could enter the soviet consulate. This presented the Nixon administration with an intractable problem of covering up the real reason for the break or risk a major cluster f__k with the soviets and having a conformation with Hoover’s Shadow government FBI.

One of the minor bit players as a very junior attorney was Hillary Clinton. This gave her inside knowledge of methods and procedures which were remarkable similar to one current being used.

Robert Bork
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Robert Heron Bork (March 1, 1927 – December 19, 2012) was an American judge, government official, and legal scholar who advocated the judicial philosophy of originalism. Bork served as a Yale Law School professor, the United States Solicitor General, the Acting United States Attorney General, and as a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan nominated Bork to the Supreme Court, but the United States Senate rejected his nomination.

“Saturday Night Massacre”

On October 20, 1973, Solicitor General Bork was instrumental in the “Saturday Night Massacre” when U.S. President Richard Nixon ordered the firing of Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox following Cox’s request for tapes of his Oval Office conversations. Nixon initially ordered U.S. Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire Cox. Richardson resigned rather than carry out the order. Richardson’s top deputy, Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus also considered the order “fundamentally wrong”[15] and resigned, making Bork Acting Attorney General. When Nixon reiterated his order, Bork complied and fired Cox. Bork remained Acting Attorney General until the appointment of William B. Saxbe on January 4, 1974.[16]

In his posthumously published memoirs, Bork stated that following the firings, Nixon promised him the next seat on the Supreme Court. Nixon was unable to carry out the promise after resigning in the wake of the Watergate scandal, but eventually, in 1987, Ronald Reagan nominated Bork for the Supreme Court.[17]

U.S. Supreme Court nomination
Following Bork’s nomination, Sen. Ted Kennedy took to the Senate floor with a strong condemnation of Bork declaring:

Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is—and is often the only—protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy … President Reagan is still our president. But he should not be able to reach out from the muck of Irangate, reach into the muck of Watergate and impose his reactionary vision of the Constitution on the Supreme Court and the next generation of Americans. No justice would be better than this injustice.

Alternate Explanation

Conformation denial of Bork was payback for his involvement in Watergate and the Saturday Night Massacre

One will note that the players in the Nixon and Trump trashing are exactly the same organizations and very similar procedures are being used. One should note that in both the central information source of negative information against the president was and is from the Directors / Deputy Directors FBI.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Not sure what your wall-o-text is proclaiming because I did not read it,

Perhaps you could just say what’s on you mind.

Why do you refer to criticisms of politicians as “trashing”?
If criticism is warranted, you still attempt to rationalize? Because certainly both Nixon and Trump deserve criticism, why do you think otherwise?

Hankster (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

The DNC in 1972 filed suit 3 days after the break-in, months and months before there was a link between the RNC and Nixon. There lawsuit exposed much to link the break-in to the RNC and Nixon.

The current lawsuit was filed many months after the fact and with claimed evidence of wrongdoing. This lawsuit could also expose additional evidence.

I’m not sure why these strawman arguments are brought up to divert attention to the subject at hand. The security or lack thereof of the DNC servers or of the DNC campaign effectiveness has nothing to do with if Americans helped Russia try to disrupt our elections.

Personally I don’t care what political party these Americans may be a part of. If anyone helped the Russians, they should be properly prosecuted and convicted.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

… the subject at hand.

… properly prosecuted and convicted.

“Properly prosecuted and convicted” strongly implies that you are thinking in terms of criminal prosecution and conviction.

However, the “subject at hand” is a civil complaint lodged in the SDNY seeking damages, disgorgement, a declaration, and injunction and costs. A civil complaint.

Perhaps you’re suggesting that the civil complaint should be tossed, or stayed, in order to avoid interference with “proper prosecution and conviction” for any crimes? More likely, though, you’re just stringing together a non sequitor. ‘Cause you certainly wouldn’t be suggesting an abuse of process.

The “subject at hand” is a civil complaint.

Laura Roslin (profile) says:

The ̶R̶U̶S̶S̶I̶A̶N̶S̶ ̶ Wasserman-Schultz Pakistani IT Guys

Aren’t the real “culprits” Wasserman-Schultz’ Pakistani IT guys? The Wikileaks emails show that DNC aides called Pakistani IT aid Imran Awan when they needed the password to DNC Chair Wasserman Schultz’ device.

Wasserman-Schultz’ Pakistani IT aids made “unauthorized access” to congressional data, could read emails, docs of 1 in 5 house Democrats.

“Among the red flags in Abid’s background were a $1.1 million bankruptcy; six lawsuits against him or a company he owned; and at least three misdemeanor convictions including for DUI and driving on a suspended license, according to Virginia court records. Public court records show that Imran and Abid operated a car dealership referred to as CIA that took $100,000 from an Iraqi government official who is a fugitive from U.S. authorities. Numerous members of the family were tied to cryptic LLCs such as New Dawn 2001, operated out of Imran’s residence, Virginia corporation records show. Imran was the subject of repeated calls to police by multiple women and had multiple misdemeanor convictions for driving offenses, according to court records.”

Jimb says:

Re: The ̶R̶U̶S̶S̶I̶A̶N̶S̶ ̶ Wasserman-Schultz Pakistani IT Guys

The DNC would call IT to reset unknown passwords. The IT guys can’t actually see them. If a persons email password is reset that’d be a red flag for them.

Besides, getting at 1 person’s email by resetting their password is a far cry from getting everyones. That only happens with access to the filesystem. You don’t need users passwords for that except to know the admin or mail administrators password.

So your point is conspiratorial.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: The ̶R̶U̶S̶S̶I̶A̶N̶S̶ ̶ Wasserman-Schultz Pakistani IT Guys

That depends 100% on what software and version that were being used. We already know they were using windows based software for the servers so it stands to reason that they were using old nonstandard admin software as well. I have been the IT guy on the other end of the phone in places where I not only see your passwords, I maintain a DB of them that the other IT people also have access to see and update.

Laura Roslin (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: The ̶R̶U̶S̶S̶I̶A̶N̶S̶ ̶ Wasserman-Schultz Pakistani IT Guys

I’m no techie. It sounds like you are so have you read up on Wasserman-Schultz’ Pakistani IT guys?
According to Daily Caller, Wasserman-Schultz’ Pakistani IT aids made “unauthorized access” to congressional data, could read emails, docs of 1 in 5 house Democrats.

This is flat out access, given by a congressman/woman.

discordian_eris (profile) says:

Re: Re:

They already know they are idiots. I would surmise that all they really care about is the discovery process. Getting Trump Jr, Manafort and the rest in for sworn depositions is really they best they can hope for. If they refuse to answer any questions under the 5th amendment the court can and will hold it against them in any further proceedings. And you can expect that anything they discover of a criminal nature won’t go to Mueller but to the SDNY and the state AG. Daddy can’t pardon Jr for state crimes.

Anonymous Coward says:

Reminds me of Happy Days

When they were so desperate they had him jump the shark.

Hate trump all you want, but when you pull stuff like the left has done, it is all now fair game for the right to pull next time. Do you all really want people to be able to justify throwing urine on people, assaulting them while calling their victims nazis, blocking traffic, and suing a year and a 1/2 later to try to rewrite history? I have never lost so much faith in the democratic party in my life.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Reminds me of Happy Days

“left”? With the Dems happily supporting tax cuts and bombing Syria without checking out evidence, and all other war efforts, stymieing unionization, … how can Dems be even considered center? They are as right as Republicans with their rhetoric 1% less.

We have no left; are we so desperate for any left sign?

mhenriday (profile) says:

DNC lawsuit

… there’s little doubt at this point that the Russians were behind the hack and leak of the documents …

Any evidence for that statement, Mike, or is it simply what the DNC wants you to believe ? Seems to me that there’s an awful lot of whinging going on in the United States these days – if elections don’t go as planned, it’s the fault of those dastardly Russians ; if the US suffers from a trade imbalance, it’s the fault of those equally dastardly Chinese. The US never seems to be responsible for its own failures….


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: DNC lawsuit

With Russia, there is a significant level of evidence that they were complicit in — if not solely the culprit of — the hacking. We know for certain that they pushed false, misleading, or inflammatory news throughout the election cycle on Twitter, Facebook, and other news sites, even up to the point of that brief California "secession movement" which was really just a few members of one county’s cabinet that nobody really knew or cared about until RT and Russian-linked Twitter accounts started spreading it.

The biggest problem is that both sides are so incompetent, and so hell-bent on proving the other wrong without admitting any wrongdoing of their own, that they can’t properly investigate any of it.

madasahatter (profile) says:

Re: Re: DNC lawsuit

Also, the Russian activities were to stir the pot on both sides to raise the tensions. What is missing is whether the Russians really cared who won and what is their long term goal. I suspect their long term goal is stir up enough trouble to hamstring any administration and hopefully keep them distracted to give Russia more wiggle room. The effectiveness is not measured by who won but how much turmoil results; I would say it was extremely effective.

dcfusor (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: DNC lawsuit

I think of it as the “shoe shop ray” from Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. And in fact, it’s the one thing the Russians are proven guilty of so far.
But bear with me and try something yourself. With a raw machine (new MAC etc) go make a FB or google account, and do prog-leaning stuff on it. Make another on another machine and do con leaning stuff on it (words meanings have been distorted by political pricks, they are all neocon statists).
Silo time! IT’s amazing, the social media will put you into whatever echo chamber it thinks will hold your attention, and even if you pollute your lefty one with righty stuff – it’ll just decide to feed you all controversy (and forget you like tech, science and so on).

I mean it – do it and don’t take my word for it. It’s not just foreign influence coming as payback for our previous crimes of that sort – we’re doing it to ourselves to sell ads! I promise you’ll have a whole new outlook after that experiment. Both sides are dirty as hell, and that’s nothing new and we shouldn’t have been tolerating it all along. But here we are, and now we have an amplifier for “divide and conquer”.

Alexandre Oliva (user link) says:

undisputed outrageous stretches of the law?

if they direct such outrageous stretches of the law against defendants
who won’t even bother to show up in court to dispute those claims, will
the judge have to swallow those stretches into law, or can they still be
laughed out of court as they should despite the lack of opposition?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: undisputed outrageous stretches of the law?

… can they still be laughed out of court…?

In a sane court system, the PETA lawyers who brought the monkey selfie copyright case would be heavily sanctioned, and possibly disbarred.

‘Course that case is over in the Ninth Circuit. All the same, whether it’s the Northern District of California or the Southern District of New York, it is all still the federal court system.

Anonymous Coward says:

SO the DNC is suing Trump and Russia for working together to “steal” the election from Hillary, because “Trump policies are favorable to Russia” but all last week you had members of the Democratic party on the news shows going on about how crazy Trump is by standing up in Syria and is going to start WW3 with Russia. I thought they were best friends, but he expelled twice the number of diplomats than most euro countries over the spy poisoning.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Trump has done more against Russia than anyone else and yet somehow they’re working together. It’s getting beyond laughable what the DNC is saying and trying to do.

What it’s really about is trying to keep Trump and the Trump Campain defending themselves over this crap so they don’t have time to run the country as they should be doing. The DNC wants to keep them distracted over this crap.

Really, who gets this news from Facebook, etc? If anything, those sits are all Left-wing Democrat places dishing out Pro-Democrat crap, and bashing Republicans already with ZERO Russin involvement.

You look at the mainstream news, it’s almost ALL Trump Bashing, very little anything Pro Trump at all. While completely reverse with Obama. It’s just beyond laughable.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Russian Hack Nonsense

Ignoring the facts much? Rather typical these days.

The FBI itself has said there are direct ties between the DNC hack and the Russian government.

That link is an official joint statement from both the DHS and FBI outlining in detail the timeline, the evidence, and the links from the DNC hack, the malware used, and the links to the Russian government’s intelligence services.

There is literally NO question but that the Russian government was directly involved. Oh wait… but I forget, inconvenient reality is “fake news”.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Russian Hack Nonsense

NAS Report (2009): Strengthening Forensic Science in the United
States: A Path Forward

Problems Relating to the Interpretation of Forensic Evidence

Often in criminal prosecutions and civil litigation, forensic evidence is offered to support conclusions about “individualization” (sometimes referred to as “matching” a specimen to a particular individual or other source) or about classification of the source of the specimen into one of several categories. With the exception of nuclear DNA analysis, however, no forensic method has been rigorously shown to have the capacity to consistently, and with a high degree of certainty, demonstrate a connection between evidence and a specific individual or source.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: History repeats itself

This is the same tact that the DNC took during the Nixon impeachment process.

During the Nixon impeachment process, the DNC filed a civil lawsuit against Russia.



Tactfully, might I suggest that back in ’72, the DNC attorneys actually plotted a slightly different course — sailed on a somewhat different tack, as it were?

Back in ’72, the Democratic party did not file a lawsuit against a foreign nation. They didn’t initiate a court case against Russia. Nor against China. Nor even against North Vietnam.

Mark Thomason says:

Russia defending this

“It’s not like the Russian Federation or the GRU is going to show up in court to defend this. And they’re certainly not going to agree to discovery.”

True. However, this situation arises rather more than one might think in the context of insurance law, where an insurer does not have a duty to defend nor a direct role, but does have an interest in seeing the matter defended because a loss would have other consequences for other layers of insurance and other claims, or a successful defense would otherwise be a benefit as in setting a precedent.

What happens is that someone who does not have a duty to defend nor a right to control the defense nonetheless funds all or part of the defense anyway.

In this instance, the interests of a sovereign state might well be protected by funding a defense by others not so well able to fund a full defense. It happens, and happens rather a lot. A sovereign state has essentially unlimited resources in the context of paying for litigation. Who pays the attorney? That is not normally discoverable.

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