He said he did this after anomalously receiving the '2012 Heartland Climate Strategy' document which mentioned him by name. This is the one that Heartland immediately claimed was a fake. Whether fake or not it seems clear that Heartland was aware that this document was not amongst those sent as soon as these documents were released on the web.
This makes it almost certain that all the other documents are genuine as he claims he;
"can explicitly confirm, as can the Heartland Institute, that the documents they emailed to me are identical to the documents that have been made public. I made no changes or alterations of any kind to any of the Heartland Institute documents or to the original anonymous communication."
I'm unsure how illegal his actions were but I cannot condone what he did, and it seems certain that this action will have an extremely negative effect on his future and career. Many in the climate contrariancommunity will see this as a vindication that scientists will go to extremes to further a 'cause'.
However there are some comparisons I'd like to make with the release of the 'Climategate' emails. Even through climate deniers now have a figure to aim at it should be remembered that the release of scientists personal emails was illegal but the culprit(s) remain at large. It should also be noted that with 'Climategate', several investigations took place and all concluded that there was little wrong in the scientific methods used and none of the science was found to be flawed. The Heartland documents may not prove to be so innocent, and just because they were obtained by underhand means, as with 'Climategate', it does not mean that thorough investigations should not be conducted. It already seems that the activities of Heartland may have jeopardised their charity status.
But I'm sorry to say to Perter Gleick;