Finally, someone is holding Hillary Clinton accountable.
This morning, in the U.S. district court in Manhattan, 2020 presidential candidate Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), 38, filed a $50 million defamation suit against Hillary Clinton for calling her a “Russian asset” or spy. The lawsuit demands a jury trial.
Plaintiffs Tulsi Gabbard and Tulsi Now, Inc. (collectively, “Tulsi”) bring this lawsuit against Defendant Hillary Rodham Clinton (“Clinton”) for defamation. Tulsi Gabbard is running for President of the United States, a position Clinton has long coveted, but has not been able to attain. 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. Tulsi has been harmed by Clinton’s lies—and American democracy has suffered as well. With this action, Tulsi seeks to hold Clinton, and the political elites who enable her, accountable for distorting the truth in the middle of a critical Presidential election….
[I]n February 2016, Tulsi believed the best Democratic presidential candidate for ourcountry was Senator Bernie Sanders. She also knew that Clinton had a stranglehold over the Democratic party and that crossing Clinton (who considered herself the “inevitable nominee”) could mean the end of her own political career….
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. Specifically, in widely disseminated national comments, Clinton falsely stated that Tulsi—an Army National Guard officer and United States Congresswoman who has spent her entire adult life serving this country—is a “Russian asset.” Clinton’s false assertions were made in a deliberate attempt to derail Tulsi’s presidential campaign.
Clinton had no basis for making her false assertions about Tulsi—and indeed, there is no factual basis for Clinton’s conspiracy theory. Clinton’s peddling of this theory has harmed Tulsi, has harmed American voters, and has harmed American democracy. 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….
On October 17, 2019, Clintonwas a guest on the podcast CampaignHQ With David Plouffe. In the course of a widely-distributed national interview, Clinton stated the following regarding “somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary” who “[they] are grooming . . . to be the third-party candidate”1:
“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….”
The next day, October 18, Clinton doubled down on the Defamatory Statements. A CNN reporter asked Clinton’s official spokesman, Nick Merrill, whether the Defamatory Statements were about Tulsi. Clinton’s spokesman responded: “If the nesting doll fits.” He continued:“This is not some outlandish claim. This is reality.”
Clinton’sreference to “the nesting doll” is a reference to the universally known Russian nesting dolls (Matryoshkadolls)….
Scientifically conducted opinion surveys have shown that Clinton’s false, malicious statements about Tulsi were accepted as true by millions of Americans, including large numbers of voters in battleground Presidential primary states.
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.
Despite calls from Tulsi and other public figures to correct the record, Clinton did not retract the Defamatory Statements. Nor did she apologize for the Defamatory Statements.
Before bringing this lawsuit, Tulsi wrote to Clinton and advised her of the complete and total falsity of the Defamatory Statements. Tulsi also asked Clinton to retract the Defamatory Statements.
Clinton refused to retract the Defamatory Statements and instead stood by them. She continues to stand by them. She refuses to apologize. And Tulsi continues to be greatly injured….
Clinton knew that the Defamatory Statements were false, and she published them knowing they were false. Clinton also intended the Defamatory Statements to be defamatory and endorsed their defamatory nature. At the very least, Clinton acted in reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the Defamatory Statements when she published them….
The Defamatory Statements have injured Tulsi’s reputation. As a direct and proximate result of Clinton’s intentional and malicious misconduct, Tulsi has suffered anguish and damage to her reputation, with direct and substantial injury to her positions as United States Congresswoman; Presidential candidate; and officer in the Army National Guard. These substantial injuries are continuing in nature and will continue to be suffered in the future, unless and until they are remediated by this Court.
Millions of Americans heard (or read about) Clinton’s Defamatory Statements. Scientifically conducted opinion surveys have shown that Clinton’s false, malicious statements about Tulsi, including that Tulsi is a “Russian asset” and “the favorite of the Russians,” were accepted as true by millions of Americans, including large numbers of voters in battleground Presidential primary states.
The Defamatory Statements have caused Tulsi to lose potential donors and potential voters who heard the Defamatory Statements. Tulsi has suffered significant actual damages, personally and professionally, that are estimated to exceed $50 million—and continue to this day….
In addition to actual damages, Tulsi is entitled to appropriate special and punitive damages in view of Clinton’s malicious and unrepentant conduct. The amount of these damages will be proven at trial, but in no event should they be less than the amount of Tulsi’s actual damages.
Tulsi demands judgment against Clinton as follows: i. An award of compensatory, special and punitive damages in appropriate amounts to be established at trial; ii. Injunctive relief prohibiting the publication or republication of the Defamatory Statements; iii. An award of Tulsi’s costs associated with this action; and iv. Such other and further relief as the Court may deem just and proper.
Tulsi demands a trial by jury on all issues so triable.