"Stealing" public documents. The Boston Globe's Charlie Savage today has a huge story on Republican staff members of the Senate Judiciary Committee who exploited a computer-security hole to steal documents from the Democratic minority. The Daily Kos is all over it. So is Josh Marshall.
This is stunningly sleazy behavior. But is it theft? Savage identifies someone named Manuel Miranda as a likely suspect. And one of the things Miranda tells Savage is this: "Stealing assumes a property right and there is no property right to a government document."
Whoa! That's pretty good. After all, you and I paid for those documents, Mr. Green.
In other words, it's still a scandal, but it may not be a crime.