I have written previously about the often frivolous lawsuits brought by Democratic leaders that not only threaten to create bad precedent but undermine legitimate claims against President Donald Trump. One such meritless action was filed by the Democratic National Committee, an action that came perilously close to crossing the line of Rule 11 on meritless or vexatious actions. Judge John Koeltl, a Clinton appointee, was scathing in dismissing the action against key members of the Trump Administration and Wikileaks as “entirely divorced” from the facts.
Koeltl dismissed a lawsuit after finding no evidence that the defendants conspired with the Russians and called the allegation “threadbare.” His 81-page opinion at times borders on the incredulous: “In short, the DNC raises a number of connections and communications between the defendants and with people loosely connected to the Russian Federation, but at no point does the DNC allege any facts … to show that any of the defendants — other than the Russian Federation — participated in the theft of the DNC’s information. Nor does the DNC allege that the defendants ever agreed to help the Russian Federation steal the DNC’s documents.”
What was most interesting was a passage that reinforces arguments (raised by some of us) that Wikileaks was acting much like any press organization in publishing the stolen emails: “If Wikileaks could be held liable for publishing documents concerning the DNC’s political financial and voter-engagement strategies simply because the DNC labels them ‘secret’ and trade secrets, then so could any newspaper or other media outlet.”
This is just the latest of wins for the Trump team recently. This case however should never have been filed. As I said at the time, it lacked any cognizable legal theory and factual basis. It is an example of how partisans are using court filings for political headlines and donor appeasement. However, as some members push for impeachment, the DNC just gave the Trump team a strong victory on the very issues of Russian collusion.