Hillary Clinton’s legal team appeared to be scrambling to find any technical grounds for the court to dismiss former President Donald Trump’s RICO lawsuit against her and her colleagues for allegedly conspiring against him and his 2016 presidential bid, and on Thursday that meant falling back on tweets.
Since the president filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in March, Clinton has been overtly dismissive of the premise of the suit while her legal team has seemingly spent more time refuting Trump’s standing to file suit so long after the alleged crime of spreading the “false narrative” that he had colluded with Russia.
In April, Clinton’s attorneys had challenged that the former president’s claim under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act had passed the statute of limitations, usually four years, and for that reason, the suit should be dropped. On Thursday, according to Insider, they backed up that claim using a tweet from 2017 as justification.
In the motion to dismiss, the former secretary of state’s lawyers wrote that Trump “took to Twitter in 2017 to accuse Clinton, the Democrats, the intelligence community, and others” of conspiring to connect his campaign to Russia.
“Because Plaintiff’s tweets are judicially noticeable and prove his claims are untimely, the Court should dismiss on statue-of-limitations grounds,” they argued to rebut the Trump teams response to the initial motion to dismiss.
As previously reported, the $24 million lawsuit called out members of Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign team including John Podesta, Robbie Mook and current national security advisor Jake Sullivan of orchestrating an “unthinkable plot” that drove years of a Russian collusion narrative.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) March 25, 2022
The suit had stated: “In the run-up to the 2016 Presidential Election, Hillary Clinton and her cohorts orchestrated an unthinkable plot–one that shocks the conscience and is an affront to this nation’s democracy. Acting in concert, the Defendants maliciously conspired to weave a false narrative that their Republican opponent, Donald J. Trump, was colluding with a hostile foreign sovereignty.”
The legal challenge also listed attorney Michael Sussman and South African Clinton activist Rodney Joffe, whom special counsel John Durham had alleged in his investigation had utilized a Pentagon contract to collect data from then-candidate and President Trump’s calls and texts, including those from the Executive Office of the President, and feeding false claims to the FBI about connections between Trump and Russia for which case the suit stated the defendants, “intentionally and improperly exceeded their authority to access servers belonging to the Executive Office of the President and Trump Organization”
The president’s lawyers had previously argued that the statute of limitations should not apply “Given the novel circumstances at hand, an equitable tolling is warranted for the duration of time that Plaintiff was serving as President of the United States,” wherein he “was immersed in the diligent execution of his presidential duties during a majority of the relevant time period while Defendants were making every effort to conceal their illicit conduct.”
“Therefore, contrary to Defendants’ contention, Plaintiff’s claims have been asserted in a timely fashion. Beyond that, Defendant’s motion merely consists of scattershot arguments that do nothing to dispute the merits of Plaintiff’s claims. Despite their best efforts,” Trump’s attorneys continued, “Defendants simply cannot muster a single viable argument as to why any of the claims should be dismissed.”
Worth noting, as part of the special counsel’s investigation, Durham had attempted to submit a tweet from Clinton as evidence where she had stated days before the election, “It’s time for Trump to answer serious questions about his ties to Russia,” over an image that read, “Donald Trump has a secret server … It was set up to communicate privately with a Putin-tied Russian bank called Alfa Bank.”
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) April 28, 2022
U.S. District Court Judge Christopher Cooper of the District of Columbia ruled the tweet was inadmissible stating, “the court will exclude as hearsay.” It remains to be seen how the Southern District of Florida will rule on a motion to dismiss on Clinton’s use of Trump’s tweets.
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