Tulsi Gabbard caves, drops defamation lawsuit against Hillary Clinton

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard relented in her defamation case against Hillary Clinton, dropping the lawsuit because she thought there were more important issues to focus on.

The former 2020 Democratic presidential contender filed papers in a New York federal court on Wednesday, formally dropping the lawsuit which she brought against the former secretary of state in January.

(Image: Gabbard/YouTube screenshot)

Gabbard’s attorney Dan Terzian noted in the court filing to withdraw the lawsuit that his client’s case still had “legal merit” but that “righting the wrongs” would have to take a back seat to the current coronavirus pandemic and the goal of defeating President Donald Trump in November’s election.

“While they remain certain of the action’s legal merit, they are just as certain that this new COVID and post-COVID world require them to focus their time and attention on other priorities,” Terzian wrote, “including defeating Donald Trump in 2020, rather than righting the wrongs here,”  Terzian wrote, according to Reuters.

The Hawaii Democrat was seeking more than $50 million in damages in the lawsuit against the failed 2016 presidential nominee, accusing Clinton of referring to her as a “Russian asset” during the Democratic presidential primary.

The four-term Democratic congresswoman accused Clinton of “deliberately and maliciously” making false statements about her to “derail” her 2020 campaign when she said in an interview last year that an unnamed Democratic 2020 contender was “the favorite of the Russians” and had suggested that Republicans were “grooming” a Democratic presidential candidate for a third-party bid.

“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,” Clinton told David Plouffe, a former adviser to President Obama, during the October podcast interview.

“They know they can’t win without a third-party candidate,” she added, referring to Stein who was the 2016 Green Party, presidential candidate.

Though Clinton did not name Gabbard specifically in her comments during the interview, the Democratic women running for president at the time besides the Hawaii congresswoman included Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, California Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and author Marianne Williamson.

“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.”

The suit also contended that there was “no factual basis for Clinton’s conspiracy theory” and claimed the former first lady is a “cutthroat politician” who “sought retribution” for Gabbard’s 2016 endorsement of Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s rival in the Democratic primary.

A spokesperson for Clinton, who was mocked for apparently dodging attempts to be served with the legal papers back in January, had dismissed the “ridiculous” case against her.

Gabbard, the only one of the Democratic primary candidates to oppose the impeachment efforts against President Trump, dropped out of her longshot 2020 bid for the White House in March and endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden.

Social media users called out the congresswoman for her perplexing reasons to drop a lawsuit she claimed she could win and using the coronavirus as an excuse.

 

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Frieda Powers

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