CNN’s Chris Cuomo told viewers it is illegal for them to possess emails leaked by the website WikiLeaks, and as a result they could not read them and had to rely entirely on the media to learn about their content.
Cuomo’s comments were made early Wednesday morning, but they attracted no attention until a clip was uploaded to YouTube Sunday morning.
In the clip, Cuomo opens a segment on leaked emails from Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s inbox by warning viewers they have to get all their information about the emails from the media, and nowhere else. If they try to check out the emails themselves, Cuomo warns, they’re breaking the law.
” Also interesting is, remember, it’s illegal to possess these stolen documents,” Cuomo says. “It’s different for the media, so everything you’re learning about this, you’re learning from us.” (RELATED: CNN’s Chris Cuomo Doesn’t Understand The Constitution)
Cuomo’s claim is faulty on a few counts. While the government might potentially prosecute somebody purely for the act of downloading stolen documents, legal experts are divided on whether such a prosecution would be constitutional. Even if downloading the emails were illegal, that is totally irrelevant in this case, because nobody has to download the WikiLeaks emails in order to read them. They’re all freely available to read on a website anybody can access.
Whatever the legal status of downloading the emails, there is absolutely no restriction on simply reading them, despite what Cuomo implies.
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