The Russia watchRussia’s broad political assault on the U.S.; collusion & the First Amendment; Clausewitz & social media, and more

Published 12 October 2018

·  Collusion is not a crime, Trump campaign argues

·  What facts would deny the Trump campaign First Amendment protections in colluding with Russia

·  Data mining has revealed previously unknown Russian Twitter troll campaigns

·  Ukraine’s spiritual split from Russia could trigger a global schism

·  What Clausewitz can teach us about war on social media: Military tactics in the age of Facebook

·  The problem isn’t fake news from Russia. It’s us: Propaganda has long affected elections around the world because publics have an appetite for it

·  Russian hackers pose an international persistent threat

·  How Russia and China undermine democracy: Can the West counter the threat?

·  The origins of Russia’s broad political assault on the United States

·  Russia’s low-cost influence strategy finds success in Serbia

Collusion is not a crime, Trump campaign argues (Quinta Jurecic, Lawfare)
Back in May 2018, a lawyer for the Trump campaign stood before a federal judge and cheerfully hinted at a version of the same argument that Rudy Giuliani had suggested repeatedly to the public: Even if the Trump campaign did collude with the Russians, so what?
The lawyer’s point was that any “collusion” between the campaign and Wikileaks or the Russian government regarding the release of hacked emails would constitute protected First Amendment activity. The case, Cockrum v. Trump, was soon dismissed from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for unrelated reasons: lack of jurisdiction and venue. Now, the plaintiffs have refiled their case in the Eastern District of Virginia—and the Trump campaign is renewing this argument. On Tuesday, Oct. 9,  it filed a motion to dismiss, making the case that, as Giuliani likes to say, “collusion is not a crime,” indeed that it’s protected by the First Amendment.
As with the argument made by Trump campaign counsel Michael Carvin in May, what is jarring here is less the First Amendment reasoning itself and more the political audacity of the argument. In briefing the motion to dismiss, the campaign is not arguing “NO COLLUSION!!!” but something closer to “WHO CARES IF THERE WAS COLLUSION???”—which is not exactly what Trump tweets.