The Democratic National Committee used Twitter to serve its lawsuit to WikiLeaks after failing to reach the group through conventional methods.
On Friday, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC’s newly created Twitter account, @ProcessServiceC, posted a tweet reading: ‘@wikileaks By Court order, you are being served with the following legal documents’ and linked to four documents.
Among the documents were the official summons and complaint, both filed in court on April 20.
DNC lawyers tweeted at WikiLeaks to serve the group its election cyberattack lawsuit Friday
Among the four documents that were linked to in the DNC lawyers’ tweet was the official lawsuit summons (shown), which had been filed on April 20
Cohen Milstein is the law firm representing the DNC in its lawsuit against President Trump’s election campaign, the Russian government, WikiLeaks and others, about the supposed 2016 cyberattack against the Democratic political party, which was aimed at helping to sway the election in Trump’s favor.
The tweet, posted at 9:52am, tagged the verified WikiLeaks Twitter handle.
CBS News reported that the Cohen Milstein lawyers resorted to the unusual method of serving a lawsuit via Twitter because they were unable to serve the lawsuit to the WikiLeaks group through email.
To use the Twitter method, the DNC had to file a motion with a New York federal court. The motion was filed in July and consent was given by a federal judge.
In the motion, lawyers argued that reaching out by Twitter made sense because WikiLeaks uses the social media platform regularly. The motion also stated that the group’s founder, Julian Assange, is a regular Twitter user and that at least one person at WikiLeaks had read the DNC’s lawsuit, based on an April 21 tweet.
DNC lawyers filed a motion in federal court to use Twitter as a method of outreach in July
A judge approved the request after DNC lawyers wrote that they had been unable to reach WikiLeaks through conventional methods, including email
DNC lawyers said that WikiLeaks members actively used Twitter and that this April 21 tweet indicated that WikiLeaks had read the lawsuit which had been filed the previous day
Trump’s campaign and one of his sons are also named in the DNC’s lawsuit. On July 6, Trump tweeted that they had won the lawsuit, but it appears to still be in progress
The DNC’s lawsuit, which also names Trump’s campaign, centers on the fact that WikiLeaks published nearly 20,000 emails said to have been stolen off DNC servers prior to the 2016 election and largely related to then candidate Hillary Clinton (Trump and Clinton in 2018)
The WikiLeaks handle, which is followed by 5.4million users, appears to tweet on a daily basis.
The Twitter method had previously been used in California, when a court decided that it was a reasonable way to notify the lawsuit’s defendant, who happened to have an active Twitter presence.
Although Trump tweeted on July 6 that he ‘Just won lawsuit filed by the DNC and a bunch of Democrat crazies trying to claim the Trump Campaign (and others), colluded with Russia,’ it appears as though the lawsuit is still very much active.
Prior to the 2016 election, WikiLeaks published nearly 20,000 emails which were said to have been stolen off the DNC’s private servers. The emails were said to have been lifted by a hacker collective that is believed to be run by the Russian government’s Main Intelligence Directorate, also known as GRU.
The majority of the emails were said to have been related to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
WikiLeaks also published thousands of private emails lifted from Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign chairman, John Podesta.
WikiLeaks has not yet tweeted regarding the lawsuit since Cohen Milstein used Twitter to served them the lawsuit Friday.