Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has filed a $50 million lawsuit against Hillary Clinton. The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. It asserts that Clinton “carelessly and recklessly impugned” Gabbard’s reputation when she said that the candidate is “the favorite of the Russians” on a podcast.
Clinton’s claim dominated the news cycle and made headlines in nearly every news publication.
Gabbard’s complaint says that she intends to hold Clinton and other “political elites” accountable for “distorting the truth in the middle of a critical Presidential election.”
“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,” the lawsuit reads. “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.”
The lawsuit lays out Gabbard’s support for Bernie Sanders in 2016, which caused her to step down from her role as the vice chair of the DNC, and says that it has left Clinton with animus towards her.
“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,” the lawsuit continues.
Gabbard’s suit refers to Clinton’s remarks as a “conspiracy theory” that has “harmed American democracy.”
“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,” it reads.
Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill responded to the news by telling NBC, “that’s ridiculous.”
Merrill, when asked at the time if Clinton meant Gabbard with her Russian asset comments, replied “if the nesting doll fits.”