This Article discusses the recent decision by the United States Federal Government to indict more than a dozen Russian nationals for conspiracy to defraud the United States of America. The Government accused the Russians of staging protests, distributing false propaganda, and spreading political messages and ideologies online in an effort to affect the outcome of the 2016 Presidential Election. We argue that while the Defendants violated several other laws, the majority of the acts the Government classifies as a conspiracy to defraud the United States should not be considered criminal. Rather, these acts are protected political speech under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution because the Russians engaged in conduct that is crucial to political discourse in a Democracy and which the Founding Fathers intended to protect. Therefore, prosecution of the Russian Defendants on that basis should cease.
Recommended CitationArtem M. Joukov and Samantha M. Caspar, Comrades or Foes: Did the Russians Break the Law or New Ground for the First Amendment?, 39 Pace L. Rev. 43 (2018)
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