Tulsi Gabbard Files $50 Million Defamation Lawsuit Against Hillary Clinton

Glory!

Tusli Gabbard is suing Ghoul of Politics Past Hillary Clinton for more than $50 million in damages, after Clinton’s allegation on a podcast with the irrepressible but passé David Plouffe that Gabbard was Russia's chosen candidate to take over the Democratic party (and my assumption: not just the party; she'd take over the country, name herself Supreme Ruler Tulsiskaya Gabbardeva, and then nuke real Americans like Faillary. It's inferred, but I think I'm on the right track.)

Anyway, Gabbard's lawsuit claims that Clinton permanently damaged her reputation by describing her as a “Russian asset.” Straight from Clinton's cakehole: “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.”

Could be talking about Andrew Yang, right? He seems to be trying too hard to blend in as a regular guy who is definitely not a Russian asset, methinks.

There was also this: “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.” So... whoever was at the controls of Clinton's brain fell asleep and drooled on the dashboard.

While Clinton didn't directly say "Tulsi Gabbard is a Russian asset!" and the Hillbot Nation powered up to collectively say "so why is Tulsi denying it when she wasn't named? QED!" a Clinton representative named Nick Merrill put the speculation to rest, quipping when asked if Clinton meant Gabbard: “If the nesting doll fits.” Nick, if you're reading this and you like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain, DM me.

As is usually the case when establishmentarians face consequences and backlash from the rabble, the whining about misreporting/taking out of context was dialled up to 11. (Why does this always happen to Poor Faillary?! Whyyyyyyyyyy do baaaaad things ALWAYS happen to goooooood people?)

Anyway, I'm feeling like there isn't a jar in the world Tulsi Gabbard can't open. You can find the lawsuit and some reporting on it here:
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jan/22/tulsi-gabbard-hillary-cl...

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I doubt this lawsuit has any merit, but anything that tarnishes the Clintons makes me smile.

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24 users have voted.

@psychodrew Tulsi Gabbard may get exactly $0 out of this, but even the existence of this lawsuit gives me wings. The first paragraph basically = jealous Hillary Clinton taking down Tulsi Gabbard because jealousy.

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20 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

I hope it makes its way to discovery and she blows open the Clintons foundation's corruption. Now that would be the tale Down of the century.

Go Tulsi!

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25 users have voted.

“You know me. Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?” - Joe Biden 8/31/2020

A tells a lie about B to C. B is some person running for office, or a paint contractor.
B must get A to retract and correct what they "published" to C by demand/request.
If there is no correction of the record, a lawsuit ensues. Triple the amount of the loss of the contract.
Some lies sent around cost specific damages, such as, a rat bastard tells people not to hire a house painter, and costs the painter a specific dollar amount for losing a specific contract.
In cases where B is called out for character slams, that have nothing to do with business or a contract, wow, just wow, damages are wide ass open...
I think, am not sure, since I do not have Federal Court lawyer privileges, and have no desire for it (yuck), that damages are wide open, character slams are wide open, as this is not contract specific.
Character disparagement is wide ass open.
Go Tulsi, Go Tulsi lawyers!

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snoopydawg's picture

.......

She goes hard after Hillary for attacking Tulsi's patriotism and calling her a traitor. Discovery Discovery Discovery Discovery!

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24 users have voted.

“You know me. Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?” - Joe Biden 8/31/2020

@snoopydawg a start.
Tulsi's lawyers were kind.

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19 users have voted.

@on the cusp
that says public figures are immune to slander? Don't judges interpret that to mean that pretty much anything said in a campaign is free speech?

I'm no lawyer, nor a law student. But I've read about something like that.

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3 users have voted.

We are so screwed.

@The Voice In the Wilderness @The Voice In the Wilderness Texas adheres to US Supreme Court Rulings.
Other than that, I do not appear in Federal Court, or pay thousands of bucks annually for their legal updates.
edit:
I think you were asking about defamation in regards to "public figures".
Public figures (In Texas) have a much higher standard of proof.
I suspect Federally, that is the case.

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Centaurea's picture

@on the cusp
@The Voice In the Wilderness

was filed in US District Court in southern New York, where Hillary is domiciled. The stated basis of federal jurisdiction is diversity (Tulsi and Hillary reside in different states) and the amount of damages, rather than federal question jurisdiction (the subject matter of the lawsuit). Defamation is a matter of state law, not federal.

This means that the laws of the state of New York will be applied in deciding the case.

From reading the Complaint filed by Tulsi, her suit is for defamation per se, which is different from regular defamation. I'm not a New York lawyer, so I don't know the details. I can see I need to do some reading up on that.

I'd have to do some research, but I don't believe I've ever heard of a law in the US that says famous people are immune from being slandered or libeled. The standard of proof involving people in the public eye is different, but the details will vary from state to state. Also, the legal standard for proving defamation per se will be different from regular defamation.

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

@Centaurea

Here's the first link I found on defamation per se https://injury.findlaw.com/torts-and-personal-injuries/what-is-defamatio...

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3 users have voted.

We are so screwed.

Steven D's picture

@Centaurea The federal question in defamation cases involves the 1st Amendment free speech clause. The relevant case is NY Times v. Sullivan, which set a higher standard of proof a public figure must meet to prove defamation, versus the lower standard of proof that applies to non-public figures. Briefly stated, to satisfy the 1st amendment, a public figure such as Tulsi must prove that Hillary's alleged defamatory statement was made with "actual malice," i.e., “with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.”

The standard of proof a public figure plaintiff must meet to prove that the the alleged defamatory statement was made with actual malice is by presenting evidence that is "clear and convincing." This is not as high as the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard, which applies in criminal cases, but it is significantly higher that the "more probable than not" standard of proof plaintiffs applicable in most other civil cases to prove their claims against defendants.

That said, the Supreme Court has stated that showing the defendant acted with actual malice is a subjective standard. The plaintiff does not need a smoking gun showing that the defendant specifically said he or she knew that statement was false, as that can be inferred from the other statements or actions by the defendant that would go to show said malice. This includes any admissible evidence, including circumstantial evidence, that indicates the existence of rivalry, ill will, or hostility between the parties.

Defamation can be implied in most states, and that is the theory Tulsi is using, as Hillary never mentioned her by name. However, there is plenty of evidence to indicate Hillary was referring to Tulsi, based on the media reports I've seen. Also, it doesn't matter if Hillary actually believes Tulsi is a "Russian asset" as Tulsi can prevail if she can show Hillary made her defamatory statement with a "reckless disregard of whether it was true or not."

Unless Hillary can show she that there was information available to her that indicated Tulsi might be a candidate that Russia favored and was considered an asset of Russia, Tulsi has a strong chance of showing Hillary's comments were made with a reckless disregard for the truth. To my knowledge no one has come forward with such evidence, even second hand reports by anonymous sources in the intelligence community or defense department. If there were any intelligence reports showing any connection between Gabbard and Russia, it's likely Gabbard would have been suspended from the National Guard as a security risk until it could be determined whether there was anything more substantial to support these accusations.

Here are the statements Hillary made that would support defamation by implication:

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 "Yeah, she's a Russian asset" comment by Hillary excludes any male candidate running for the Democratic Party's nomination, so that limits it to female candidates. Of the current women running for office only Tulsi has been criticized for aiding Russian interests, intentionally or otherwise, primarily as a result of her meeting with President Assad of Syria.

So, this does not look like a frivolous suit to me, and I believe Tulsi's complaint should survive a motion to dismiss and/or a motion for summary judgment for failure to state a claim. That would allow the case to proceed to the discovery phase.

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"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

Steven D's picture

@Steven D

Link: https://d3ba7j4nna908t.cloudfront.net/attachments/Tulsi-HRC_2020-01-22_C...

17. On October 17, 2019, Clinton was a guest on the podcast Campaign HQ 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”

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 alsoa Russian asset. Yeah, she’s a Russian asset.

(“Defamatory Statements”).

This makes it clear to me that Clinton was referring to Tulsi in her comment.

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12 users have voted.

"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

Centaurea's picture

@Steven D
One might argue that if Hillary said it, that automatically makes it malicious. Malice, thy name is Hillary Clinton.

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5 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

@Centaurea NY state law follows the standard "actual malice" rules of the SupCt's landmark Sullivan (1964) case; but after the initial ruling, states have different ways to assess and award punitive damages.

On the question of public figures suing for defamation, yes absolutely they can*. It's just that the standard of proof to prevail is higher for them than for private citizens. Per the Sullivan case, public figures must prove "actual malice" by the defendant -- intentionally making false defamatory statements, or acting in reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of those statements. I.e., not the mere negligence that private citizens must prove.

Ianal, just my two cents -- her complaint has as much political as legal argument. She has up to a year from the time of the defamatory statement, for statute of limitation purposes, to amend her complaint and also add additional defendants. The Hillary aide who made the "nesting doll" statement might be someone to add.

Among other things (like Hillary wasn't named etc) Hillary might note that her statement was clearly meant as hyperbolic opinion, as typically happens when politicians discuss political matters or a political rival, and so should not be considered as a statement of fact and therefore is not actionable. She would argue that the Court has long recognized that public discussion in the political realm is often overheated and caustic, and that this is a price we have agreed to pay for having a free and robust public discussion under the First Amendment.

In addition to possibly getting to the discovery stage (although ultimately Tulsi would likely have a hard time prevailing at a trial), there is the chance that a settlement could be had, which would ding Hillary in the pocketbook at the very least, and might also include a clarifying What She Really Meant to Say statement from her about Tulsi being a Russian asset.

* in the 80s(?), comedienne Carol Burnett successfully sued the tabloid National Enquirer for libel; a case won at trial but later settled out of court following appeal.

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6 users have voted.

@snoopydawg and it did occur to me that the timing of this lawsuit is right on the heels of Faillary farting out her thoughts on the primary in her new documentary. Maybe my tinfoil hat is on too tightly?

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OzoneTom's picture

...stating that it was she who is the subject of this comment.

I am not aware of any reporting stating anything otherwise.

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Centaurea's picture

I can see several things this can accomplish, aside from pissing off Hillary, which itself is worth the price of admission.

  • Attract the support of people who dislike Hillary. That probably includes 75+% of the American populace. They will no doubt be happy to see someone finally having the cojones to stand up to HRC.
  • Give Bernie cover.
  • Help Bernie supporters who may not like Tulsi to become more comfortable with her. That will pave the way for her to be Bernie's VP, or another significant role in his administration.
  • Continue positioning herself as a strong anti-establishment politician who will not knuckle under and go away.
  • Continue poking the DNC in the eye.
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27 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

Private person sues, other side (the smearers)must affirmatively prove they told the truth.
Public person must affirmatively prove they were lied about, character defamed.
Tulsi has the burden of proof.
I cannot say this enough, that is the standard in Texas law, but it very highly likely that is the standard across the country.
The shift of burden of proof is key. That is what might make Tulsi's case impossible to win.

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10 users have voted.
Centaurea's picture

@on the cusp

in this case might not be prevailing in the final judgment, but rather forcing Hillary into discovery. That would be a sight to see.

The plaintiffs in the DNC fraud lawsuit weren't able to get far enough along to have discovery. Maybe Tulsi's lawyers will have better luck.

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12 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

@Centaurea I just read the designated court wrong, good grief!
Per se defamation is generally defined as the statement is presumed to be harmful.
The statement made was, indeed, harmful. I wonder if Clinton is going to say it referenced some other woman, such as Jill Stein? It would then lay the perfect evidence for Stein or other specific woman to sue her.
How does wonkish Hillary dodge this? She sure as hell defamed somebody.
I agree discovery will be fun and games.

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10 users have voted.

@on the cusp
when HRC shot her mouth off?

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5 users have voted.

Let's try to help each other
find a better way.

@QMS She mentioned Stein as a third party Russian asset.
The primary Dem women at that specific time were Gabbard, Klobashar, (sp.?)and some woman that I can't call by name. I think Harris and Gillibrand had already dropped out.

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7 users have voted.

@on the cusp
Hillary does not have to prove that Tulsi is a Russian agent.
Tulsi has to prove that she is not.

Hard to prove a negative.

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3 users have voted.

We are so screwed.

@The Voice In the Wilderness This is why so few public figures bother with defamation suits.
I do think Tulsi is in a great position to meet her burden, given her security clearances, her position in the military, her background checks, her use of government communication systems, and access to classified documents. You'd think somebody by now would have noticed she was cozy with Russia.

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TheOtherMaven's picture

@on the cusp @on the cusp

which is a shorthand definition of anything and everything issuing from Her's cakehole. Should be open and shut - and might be the only thing that would get Her to Shut Up.

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7 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

@TheOtherMaven to prove that Clinton was lying.
It is easy to prove it was malicious, blah blah blah…
IF it was a lie.
Very difficult case.
As I posted elsewhere, her clearances and access to classified information tend to prove she is not what Clinton said she is.
Very difficult case.
I have had numerous elected officials try to hire me for nasty political adds and other shenanigans. They were not in a position to prove the negative, the "No way I did that!"
Tulsi just might be make that threshold. At least her attorneys believed they could prove the complete absence of evidence, so I think they are very confidant.
Texas: I sent this notice to retract a defaming statement. If it is not retracted, I sue. 9 times out of 10, I get a retraction.
Hillary brought this on herself..

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@on the cusp Proving it in a "the dog didn't bark" way, which may be as far as Tulsi can go on that issue given this is Russia and the Kremlin and its intel services and getting their testimony in an American court and how credible would their denial be anyway.

Hillary might counter by arguing she didn't mean it literally, that Tulsi isn't an official literal Russian asset. Just an unwitting one -- or a reasonable person might consider that possibility. And in any case, Hillary should be allowed like many pols traditionally in our society to engage in some broad, even hyperbolic and unpleasant opinions in order to make a larger point, and that freedom of speech in the political realm has usually been afforded wide latitude as to what people say in our free marketplace of ideas.

In any case, that's the argument on the truth or falsity of the statement. The Truth is always a complete defense to a defamation charge, so this wouldn't be available to Hillary to quickly get a verdict in her favor, and as noted she might argue it was only opinion anyway and so it's permitted under our system.

The difficulty for public figure plaintiffs is usually in meeting, proving the actual malice standard. I.e., was there any basis available to her at all to make such a statement, even assuming it was a statement of fact and not opinion? Does Tulsi meeting with Assad allow Hillary to reasonably make the stretch to Russian asset?

Just my two cents from a non-lawyer and non-expert in the defamation field who's trying to figure out where this case would go legally. For actual expertise in this area, please consult with an actual expert in your area, and/or give me a cite to lawyers in this field who have weighed in on the legal merits.

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Bob In Portland's picture

@on the cusp Hillary's statement? Would that be included in the arguments?

Also, we we get to see Hilz's ugly mug in the witness stand defending her statement that Tulsi is a Russian asset?

Myself, I'd like her to be asked when she first started working for the CIA.

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6 users have voted.

@Bob In Portland or hope, that her numbers might have ticked up since the Hillary statement. Haven't seen much movement if they did. She's still at 5% or less in most polls, despite nearly a year of campaigning, most of that with no/little MSM coverage or of a positive/neutral nature.

Bernie might consider her for a cabinet post, perhaps head of Veterans Affairs. VP just seems to much heat to bring on to his campaign, which will already have enough to deal with.

As for Hillary and CIA, I'm skeptical. If so, seems like they could have easily arranged for some votes to switch in the middle of the night in states like WI, MI and PN to ensure one of their own was installed. Especially as against the distrusted, unreliable and erratic Donald. Not to mention how they should have arranged things in the Dem primary in 2008 to make her nomination, and thus election, a certainty.

I think Poppy Bush was a Spook (probably going back to the 50s). Gerald Ford and Reagan were FBI informants, a close cousin to CIA Spook and basically playing on the same team. Hillary or Bill? I doubt it. It's true CIA isn't all-powerful, but they are nonetheless the most powerful unelected governmental force in all the world, and as such they certainly would have had the ability to manipulate (remotely) some voting numbers to install one of their own.

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3 users have voted.
Situational Lefty's picture

She's everything the two corporate parties hate.

She's good looking, she's anti-war, she's independent and she's not afraid to defend herself.

She also actually served in the military, which so many Dems and Reps shirked away from.

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16 users have voted.

The United States of America is the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Cesar Chavez and Emma Lazarus.

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10 users have voted.

Lurking in the wings is Hillary, like some terrifying bat hanging by her feet in a cavern below the DNC. A bat with theropod instincts. -- Fred Reed https://tinyurl.com/vgvuhcl

in the discovery phase. Joy Behar opened her mouth on this segment of The View and validated Shillary's claim. Go Joy! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Pleasantry

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13 users have voted.

"When will our conscience's grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?" Eleanor Roosevelt

"The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." Socrates (469-399 BC)

Lookout's picture

(16 min)

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8 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout Great point made about Hillary's incautious remarks, and Hillary chides Trump for spouting off.
The woman believes she is above the law and is accountable to nobody.

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RantingRooster's picture

she wipes the floor with the Queen Warmonger...

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"Men who look upon themselves born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent; selected from the rest of mankind their minds are early poisoned by importance;" - Thomas Paine, Common Sense