International Politics

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Files Lawsuit Against Hillary Clinton Over Defamatory Statements


Washington, January 22.


Washington, DC – Tulsi Gabbard, a United States Congresswoman, Army National Guard Major, and 2020 presidential candidate, today filed a defamation lawsuit against Hillary Rodham Clinton. Gabbard, a U.S. Representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district, asserts in her complaint that Clinton deliberately and maliciously made false statements in an attempt to derail Rep. Gabbard’s campaign, by alleging that Gabbard is a “Russian asset.” The complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York by Brian Dunne and Dan Terzian, Rep. Gabbard’s legal counsel and partners at Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP.

Clinton was the 2016 Democratic Party nominee for President of the United States, United States Secretary of State from 2009 until 2013, a United States Senator for the State of New York from 2001 to 2009, and the First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001. On October 17, 2019, she publicly stated in an interview that “somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary … [is a] favorite of the Russians… Yeah, she’s a Russian asset.” The press extensively republished and disseminated these statements, which were interpreted widely as Clinton asserting that Gabbard is a Russian asset.

The complaint seeks compensatory damages and an injunction prohibiting the further publication of Clinton’s defamatory statements.

The case is Tulsi Gabbard and Tulsi Now, Inc. v. Hillary Rodham ClintonA copy of the full complaint is available here.

Tulsi Gabbard is suing Hillary Clinton for more than $50 million in damages following Clinton’s suggestion on a podcast that she was Russia’s favored candidate to win the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.

The defamation lawsuit, which was made public Wednesday morning, claims the 2016 Democratic nominee permanently damaged the Hawaii congresswoman’s reputation by describing her as a “Russian asset.”

Clinton made the controversial remarks on the podcast Campaign HQ With David Plouffe back in October, when she said: “I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on someone who’s currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate. She’s the favorite of the Russians.”

In the key remarks to the lawsuit, Clinton added: “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.” It’s not clear from the quotes whether Clinton was referring to Gabbard, Stein, or both.

Although Clinton didn’t explicitly mention Gabbard during the remarks quoted in the lawsuit, Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill clarified at the time, when asked if she was referencing Gabbard in the part about Russia favoring one of the existing candidates: “If the nesting doll fits.”

However, Merrill subsequently tweeted that Clinton’s comments were being misreported and said she was referring to the Republican Party grooming Gabbard to be a third-party candidate—not the Russians.

The suit claims Clinton’s statements caused Gabbard to “lose potential donors and potential voters,” and estimated that the personal and professional damages to her exceed $50 million. It also claimed Gabbard is entitled to “special and punitive damages… in view of Clinton’s malicious and unrepentant conduct” on top of the actual damages.

The suit claims that Clinton has sought revenge on Gabbard ever since she endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary. “Clinton—a cutthroat politician by any account—has never forgotten this perceived slight. And in October 2019, she sought retribution by lying, publicly and loudly, about Tulsi Gabbard,” the lawsuit states.

Gabbard’s lawyers say Clinton’s comments “spread like wildfire across the internet” and that millions of Americans accepted the statements as fact because they came from a “well-known authority figure.”

Gabbard has had a controversial tenure in Congress, particularly for her defense of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, who she met with in Damascus in 2017 after the battle of Aleppo and has been accused of war crimes and gassing his own people.

The suit goes on to say: “In short, Clinton got exactly what she wanted by lying about Tulsi—she harmed her political and personal rival’s reputation and ongoing presidential campaign, and started a damaging whisper campaign based on baseless, but vicious, untruths.”

Clinton’s accusation here:


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