In the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, the Democratic National Committee was hacked, and thousands of its emails and other private documents were stolen. Those documents were eventually released to the public through a website run by “Guccifer 2.0” (an online persona allegedly maintained by the Russian government) and through WikiLeaks. Early last year, the DNC sued those it believes are responsible for the hack, including the Trump campaign and Russian officials.
The DNC also sued WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. In its complaint, the DNC alleges that WikiLeaks released the hacked documents and that WikiLeaks communicated with Guccifer 2.0 after the hack to obtain the documents and coordinate their release.
These allegations raise an important First Amendment question with weighty implications for freedom of the press.
On Wednesday, the ACLU, the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press filed a friend-of-the-court brief addressing that