Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard has filed a defamation lawsuit against Hillary Clinton for calling her a “Russian asset” and seeks “$50 million – and counting” in damages.
The four-term Democratic congresswoman from Hawaii addressed the lawsuit, which was filed Wednesday, in a statement saying that Clinton “deliberately and maliciously made false statements” about her “in an attempt to derail her 2020 campaign.”
Filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, the complaint focused on Clinton’s comments from an interview in October in which the failed 2016 Democratic presidential nominee said that an unnamed Democratic 2020 contender was “the favorite of the Russians.”
The first page of the complaint against Clinton reads, “Tulsi Gabbard is running for President of the United States, a position Clinton has long coveted, but has not been able to attain.”
The defamation lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of NY. pic.twitter.com/kK0yjCZl5F
— Nicole Sganga (@NicoleSganga) January 22, 2020
“In October 2019—whether out of personal animus, political enmity, or fear of real change within a political party Clinton and her allies have long dominated—Clinton lied about her perceived rival Tulsi Gabbard. She did so publicly, unambiguously, and with obvious malicious intent,” the lawsuit read. “Tulsi has been harmed by Clinton’s lies—and American democracy has suffered as well.”
In the interview last year, Clinton had suggested that Republicans were “grooming” a Democratic presidential candidate for a third-party bid.
“I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate,” Clinton told David Plouffe, a former adviser to President Obama, during the October podcast interview.
“She’s the favorite of the Russians, they have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far, and that’s assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not, because she’s also a Russian asset. Yeah, she’s a Russian asset, I mean totally. They know they can’t win without a third-party candidate,” she added, referring to Stein who was the 2016 Green Party presidential candidate.
Clinton did not name Gabbard specifically and there were, at the time, a total of five Democratic women running for president besides the Army National Guard Major, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, California Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and author Marianne Williamson.
“Clinton’s false assertions were made in a deliberate attempt to derail Tulsi’s presidential campaign,” the lawsuit stated, saying there was “no factual basis for Clinton’s conspiracy theory” and claiming Clinton is a “cutthroat politician” who “sought retribution” for Gabbard’s 2016 endorsement of Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s rival in the Democratic primary.
“Tulsi Gabbard is a loyal American civil servant who has also dedicated her life to protecting the safety of all Americans,” Gabbard’s lawyer Brian Dunne said in a statement about the Iraq military combat veteran.
“Rep. Gabbard’s presidential campaign continues to gain momentum, but she has seen her political and personal reputation smeared and her candidacy intentionally damaged by Clinton’s malicious and demonstrably false remarks.”
Juanita Broaddrick, who alleged that former President Bill Clinton raped her when he was the attorney general of Arkansas, applauded Gabbard’s lawsuit.
Finally, something I can agree on with Tulsi Gabbard
Tulsi Gabbard Announces Defamation Lawsuit Against Hillary Clinton | The Daily Caller https://t.co/36RxqSjmst
— Juanita Broaddrick (@atensnut) January 22, 2020
Gabbard’s lawsuit claims “Clinton acted in reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the Defamatory Statements” which she refused to retract, and that she acted with intentional malice. The lawsuit “seeks compensatory damages and an injunction prohibiting the further publication of Clinton’s defamatory statements.”
“Tulsi brings this lawsuit to ensure that the truth prevails and to ensure this country’s political elites are held accountable for intentionally trying to distort the truth in the midst of a critical Presidential election,” the lawsuit said.
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