Patterico's Pontifications

1/23/2020

Tulsi Gabbard Sues Hillary Clinton For Defamation (Update Added)

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:29 am



[guest post by Dana and JVW]

Note from JVW – Dana began drafting this post yesterday but then transferred it over to the Little Aloha Sweetie desk at Patterico’s Pontifications for me to complete.

But of course:

Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard sued former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday for allegedly defaming her by suggesting the Hawaii congresswoman is a “Russian asset.”

“Clinton’s false assertions were made in a deliberate attempt to derail Tulsi’s campaign,” says the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

The suit claims that Gabbard has suffered “actual damages” of ”$50 million — and counting” from Clinton’s comments.

During the interview to which Gabbard’s suit refers, Clinton’s spokesman Nick Merrill confirmed that Clinton was specifically referring to Tulsi Gabbard:

Hillary Clinton says she believes that the Republicans have “got their eye on somebody who’s currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate.”

In a recent interview, Clinton didn’t mention Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii by name, but said she believes one candidate is “the favorite of the Russians.” Asked if the former secretary of state was referring to Gabbard, Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill said, “If the nesting doll fits…” He later tweeted that Clinton was referring to the GOP grooming Gabbard, not Russians.

Public figures don’t enjoy the same degree of legal protection against libel and slander that us ordinary private figures do. This creates a pretty high hurdle for a Congresswoman and Presidential candidate who wants to perhaps settle a political score with an opponent. And indeed, Rep. Gabbard’s lawsuit sounds more like an earnest op-ed piece than a legitimate tort action [bold emphasis added]:

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.

In the Nature of the Case section of the suit, the Gabbard team cites her endorsement of Bernard Sanders four years ago as creating enmity between herself and the First Lady-turned-Senator-turned-Secretary, then accurately characterizes Mrs. Clinton as “a cutthroat politician by any account” (no, no, get it straight: Jeffery Epstein was hanged in his cell). They argue that Mrs. Clinton purposefully and maliciously defamed Rep. Gabbard in order to harm the Hawaiian Congresswoman’s reputation during her Presidential run as payback for four years ago when Rep. Gabbard’s resigned from her DNC post in protest of the advantages being given to the Clinton campaign during the primary at the expense of the Sanders campaign. The suit seeks unspecified compensatory damages along with costs and an injunction prohibiting further publication or republication of Mrs. Clinton’s statements.

Again, the lawsuit would seem like something of a long-shot, but Little Aloha Sweetie does have her allies. While conceding that her demand for relief “is not likely to succeed,” NRO’s Jim Geraghty points to a section of the suit which argues that Mrs. Clinton’s words carry an implied credibility far beyond that of the average journalist or blogger. He explains:

But Hillary Clinton isn’t just anybody. She was Secretary of State for four years, had the highest security clearance, and had access to all kinds of extremely secret classified information. (And if the 2016 cycle taught us anything, it’s that Clinton is always careful with classified information!) When Hillary Clinton accuses someone of being a Russian agent, it comes with the implication that this isn’t run-of-the-mill fuming or paranoia but a suspicion or accusation based upon something Clinton saw or learned from the U.S. intelligence community.

It is worth considering whether those in high places such as Mrs. Clinton have an extra-special obligation not to make wild accusations about the rest of us. (And yes, Mr. Geraghty does mention those ex-CIA folks who accuse President Trump of treason.) Hillary Clinton is an awful person, and her petty vindictiveness and disregard for any and all norms of propriety will be a major part of her ugly legacy. I (JVW) think that Rep. Gabbard’s lawsuit against Google is far more meritorious than this lawsuit, though both of them deal with the same idea of a fetid and corrupt Democrat establishment (including friendly business allies) tipping the scales for the candidates they favor and decidedly against those whom they oppose. The message here should be that if you want to play in the Democrat pigsty, you had better expect to get covered in excrement.

UPDATE:

Cross-posted at the Jury Talks Back.

– Dana and JVW

73 Responses to “Tulsi Gabbard Sues Hillary Clinton For Defamation (Update Added)”

  1. On the one hand, I’m against using the courts to resolve what ought to be political disputes. On the other hand, both party’s machines are so strongly in need of a metaphorical smack to their faces that I’m willing to see it come from whatever source possible. In a lot of ways Trump was that smack in the face to the GOP establishment four years ago. Now let’s see if the Democrats get theirs.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  2. One thing’s certain, though: nearly eight years later, Mrs. Clinton continues to mishandle classified intelligence.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  3. Nobody can be as unkind to a woman as another woman.

    nk (1d9030)

  4. I am no fan of HRC, but I think I understand her.

    Think of it. She was the smart woman who had a crush on the popular guy. Carried his books. Cheered for him. Did some of his homework. Dealt with multiple personal humiliations.

    Sure, she married the guy. But still.

    *I* think the original plan in 2008 was HRC as President and BHO as VP. It made sense. But then her campaign imploded. So she had to bite her lip and kowtow to the DNC.

    But it was my turn, she said to herself. I mean, after all the humiliations and attacks and everything else.

    And then Trump beats her.

    HRC is a ball of incandescent fury.

    I believe that, if she had divorced WJC, she would have been elected in 2008. I’m glad she wasn’t elected, because HRC has issues and scores to settle from a lifetime of resentment.

    As it stands, she has no role to play, and it burns and burns and burns.

    So she cannot help but prattle on. Sort of like this:

    https://youtu.be/uBiewQrpBBA

    My opinion only.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  5. We can all agree; the deposition of Hillary Rodham Clinton would be great fun. Of course the whole lying under oath thing to her is no biggie though so….

    Bugg (47841b)

  6. I think you have it just about right, Simon Jester.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  7. I saw on another blog that there is a difference between saying “She is a Russian asset” and “She is a Russian agent.”

    The latter clearly means she is knowingly working for the Russians.

    The former, which is what Clinton said, can be understood to mean, her positions and actions benefit the Russians, even if she does not mean to. Like a Russian stooge. (Which would make the statement a matter of opinion and not defamatory as a matter of law.)

    Not sure I buy that argument. To me Russian asset = Russian stoge.

    Curious what others here think.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  8. #4 — Nice summary. Quite accurate, I think.

    But the presidency is not a form of therapy for a lifetime of resentments. As bad as Trump is, we dodged a bullet when she lost.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  9. Am I running a risk of being sued by the Gabby for saying this is advertising-via-lawsuit?

    “I’m being oppressed – give me money!” is not just for evangelicals anymore!

    john (cd2753)

  10. @3. Cat fight. Though a match between Jane Fonda circa 1968 vs., Raquel Welch circa 1968 refereed by Ann-Margret circa 1968 emceed by Joey Heatherton circa 1968 would be much more entertaining.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  11. Whoops, mistyped.

    Here is my question. Do most people think “Russian asset” means “Russian agent” or “Russian Stooge?”

    I vote, agent.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  12. I wish Ms. Gabbard good fortune, and a reduced fortune for Ms. Clinton.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  13. “Here is my question. Do most people think “Russian asset” means “Russian agent” or “Russian Stooge?”

    In every history I’ve ever read on intelligence/spying/espionage, ‘asset’ is someone who is knowingly providing information/support to an intelligence organization while not bring

    harkin (d6cfee)

  14. “Russian asset” means “Russian agent” or “Russian Stooge?”

    “Stooge” in thsi context, but the reason someone could be a stooge is that they are an agent, albeit not necessarily getting any money directly or any regular basis.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  15. Should have concluded:

    “being part of same”

    harkin (d6cfee)

  16. @14.

    Stooge to me means someone who is inadvertently helping the Russians, not on their payroll. Someone could say, for example, by opposing drilling for oil in North America, you are a Russian Stooge.

    An Agent is someone intentionally acting for them.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  17. @4 it’s more like she made a deal with the devil, fully embraced all of the evils that entails, and the devil double crossed her.

    frosty (3a6151)

  18. Putin must’ve instructed Tulsi to sue.

    Munroe (464dab)

  19. 1. Asset can mean stooge or useful Idiot.

    2. Agent means knowingly working for them. For example an attractive agent may have an asset that feeds them information because of a romantic interest.

    3. I heard the exchange in question this morning on a Podcast. It seemed clear to me that Clinton was in part joking around.

    4. Saying “This politician is Pro-BAD THING.” When what you mean is that their policy position will have some benefit on BAD THING is a common formulation. I don’t think any honest person believes that it’s intended as a statement of fact.

    5. These performative defamation suites need to stop and I hope they start becoming painful for the assholes that do them. Hillary will be fine here. She has the money and resources to deal with this. But not everyone will. Liz Mair is being sued by Devin Nunes for 250,000,000$ for defamation because she criticized him. Her legal defense is probably a bigger problem for her.

    6. Tulsi Gabbard is ass hole.

    Time123 (14b920)

  20. I read “asset” as “spy,” but would acknowledge that is more ambiguous than “agent.”

    This is an interesting one, on a number of levels. New York has a very narrow anti-SLAPP law, so Gabbard’s lawyers picked her forum well. Beyond that, it does seem that the only way for Clinton to prove the truth of her claims (as a defense to defamation) would be to produce information that she received from someone in the intelligence world – which would be a very tricky (if not illegal) proposition.

    Clinton will almost certainly argue “opinion,” but eeeeeehhhh I dunno – “Russian asset” seems like a pretty factual assertion to me.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  21. So, if Putin’s plan is to have the elite calling each other “Russian assets”, and so distabilize America, then aren’t the people doing the name-calling “Russian assets”?

    Kevin M (19357e)

  22. Can Tulsi seeRussia from atop Mauna Kea?

    mg (8cbc69)

  23. 4.I am no fan of HRC, but I think I understand her.

    You wanna understand her? Ego: go read her essay in the June 20,1969 issue of Life magazine– nearly 51 years ago.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  24. @13. From personal knowledge of the experience w/a family member dealing w/t government proposing a shadowy deed – the term “assets” definitely meant “means” – the personnel, finances associated ‘paraphernalia’ necessary.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  25. @22. Is there Russian dressing in her Frigidaire?

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  26. Beluga caviar in the fridge and stole in the freezer?

    mg (8cbc69)

  27. stoli

    mg (8cbc69)

  28. How very Trump-y of her.

    Dave (31e43e)

  29. I wish she had demanded damaged in rubles

    Dustin (b8d6d1)

  30. “These performative defamation suites need to stop and I hope they start becoming painful for the assholes that do them.”

    – Time 123

    I agree with this.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  31. I hope she takes hellbot clinton for evey thing she has! If I a am on the jury I will award tulsi every thing hellbot has!

    asset (0b737f)

  32. This site now reads like democratic underground with a lll you never trumpers sounding like establishment democrats giving d.n.c. talking points!

    asset (0b737f)

  33. “These performative defamation suites need to stop and I hope they start becoming painful for the assholes that do them.”

    – Time 123

    I agree with this.

    Is why Honolulu Honey who want Hillary money file in New York, comrades. New York have no anti-SLAAP except for when Roy Cohn sue people who object to Trump real estate project. Is true, look it up.

    nk (1d9030)

  34. This site now reads like democratic underground with a lll you never trumpers sounding like establishment democrats giving d.n.c. talking points!

    Spasibo, comrade little donkey.

    nk (1d9030)

  35. BTW, I agree with Simon Jester @ his comment 4, but I think that Tulsi was born an over-ambitious while under-talented and thereby frustrated shrew, and there is little to choose between her and Hillary character-wise.

    nk (1d9030)

  36. “These performative defamation suites need to stop and I hope they start becoming painful for the assholes that do them.”
    Time123 (14b920) — 1/23/2020 @ 12:45 pm

    Performative defamation begets performative defamation suits. Might try starting with those a$$holes.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  37. If Tulsi can’t take a hit, she shouldn’t be in politics. Grow up, Tulsi, you are playing in the big leagues. There’s no crying in politics (unless you are John Bohner.)

    Nic (896fdf)

  38. I want her to win huge and demand bitcoin.
    So my bitcoin would go up due to the demand.
    Gabbard is better looking than Hillary and is more likable. All the more reason to hate on her.
    Hillary is descending into Trump-induced dementia… russians and their bots inside every voting booth and now this Hawaiian chick that her husband would love to ummm…. mentor.
    Russians!!! Putin!!!
    All she needs is a shopping cart full of crap and a plastic bottle of Vodka [Hillary looks at bottle mistakenly assumes Kamchatka Vodka is made in Russia.. also mistakenly assumes that its Vodka, starts to throw it at some young woman riding a bike because Russians and that wench Monica, ambles bemusedly and aimlessly around the middle of intersection for a moment and then drains it]

    steveg (354706)

  39. I’ve updated the post with Tulsi Gabbard’s video message regarding Hillary and her claims.

    Dana (8ef71a)

  40. Gabbard is better looking than Hillary

    If you say so, steveg. https://www.ozy.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/tulsi002.jpg?w=660 (In case you wondered why she wears pant-suits a lot.)

    nk (1d9030)

  41. These performative defamation suites need to stop and I hope they start becoming painful for the assholes that do them.

    The assertion is not that Hillary was critical, it is that she stated something demonstrably false, that she has no evidence of, but did so as an authority on such matters.

    Suppose that a former FBI director said “Hillary Clinton had Vince Foster killed.” Would you call that “criticism”?

    Kevin M (19357e)

  42. The schadenfreude is strong here…

    I can’t see how Tulsi prevails, but I understand her rationale.

    If she somehow prevails, or at least go to court as some lawfare tactic (which the process is punishing enough), maybe in the future politicians would be a little bit more careful about uttering false reputation-destroying comments.

    Nah… the hyperbolic partisan sniping is here to stay.

    whembly (91455b)

  43. @41. A fire plug by any other name, eh, nk?!

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  44. ^40. Typo.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  45. @40. I think Tulsi looks fine. Polynesians aren’t ectomorphs.

    norcal (42c8d0)

  46. norcal @ 45. Still, politics had to be her second career choice after she found she did not have the body for a dominatrix.

    nk (1d9030)

  47. #46
    She looks just like mine…. was that my outside voice?

    steveg (354706)

  48. But she could be a KFC Special. Two left wings, a small breast, and two fat legs.

    nk (1d9030)

  49. Her facial features are a less harsh that Hillary’s.
    When your ancestors woke up one day and decided to load the family tonnage in the outrigger along with all their stuff and paddle to a dot of land 500 miles away across the sea… the women might tend towards stocky.

    I think I’ve told this story before, but long time a buddy of mine got hired down in Greater LA and after finished his field training was assigned his first patrol assignment got a call to a fight/disturbance at a Pacific Islander wedding in Long Beach. He’s 6′-2″ 220 and used to play catcher collegiately. He rolls up and a Samoan woman picks up a cinderblock and throws it overhead at him like a soccer player. He starts re-evaluating his career choices, but gets organized, the other cops move in and they start to get some serious pushback from very large angry people so they go pepper spray and batons and all wind up facing marks on their records for excessive force. My buddy wound up OK on that but he told me there wasn’t a woman there that didn’t think she could kick his butt.
    I told him nest time get some phone numbers… saves you some money for the lady (hopefully a lady) with the riding crop

    steveg (354706)

  50. “ Suppose that a former FBI director said “Hillary Clinton had Vince Foster killed.”

    – Kevin M

    Haven’t a bunch of right-wing dipsh*ts been saying that for decades, without repercussion? If Clinton has been suing those idiots for “defamation,” I’ve missed it.

    There is no “perceived authority of the speaker” element to defamation, as I know it.

    Leviticus (7fcc89)

  51. I have no sympathy for Clinton in this situation, but it is ironic that a person who has been defamed constantly, for decades, draws the ire of a self-righteous snowflake the instant she says something inadvisable.

    Guess Gabbard won’t be able to collect the $50m she apparently thought she would collect by becoming president. Is that statement opinion? Defamation? Truth? If Gabbard reads this blog, maybe we’ll find out!

    Leviticus (7fcc89)

  52. You “derail” something that was never on the rails to begin with. There should be some sort of “uncatchable pass” penalty-nullification equivalent for politics, as well as defamation actions.

    Leviticus (7fcc89)

  53. You *cannot* derail. Sorry

    Leviticus (7fcc89)

  54. 48, that might be more a Popeyes or Churchs special…KFC chickens are more British tabloid crossword puzzle girls.

    urbanleftbehind (ddc2cc)

  55. ICYMI: Watch Tulsi Gabbard win a pushup contest at a townhall

    (I posted this for JVW a few days ago, but it was at the tail end of a dying thread…)

    Dave (1bb933)

  56. it is ironic that a person who has been defamed constantly, for decades, draws the ire of a self-righteous snowflake the instant she says something inadvisable.

    This is a really good point.

    Dustin (b8d6d1)

  57. In a recent interview, Clinton didn’t mention Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii by name, but said she believes one candidate is “the favorite of the Russians.”

    How is this defamatory?

    For the past three years “favorite of the Russians” has been synonymous with “presidential”.

    Dave (1bb933)

  58. #56

    I repeat. When your ancestors rowed a frickin boat across 500 miles of open sea to move to Hawai’i you can do push ups.
    Take a look at the Icelandic women named “Sigurdsdotttir” who seem to have no problem winning or finishing high on the winners board in crossfit. “oh. so the idea is to lift that giant ball of stone and then run over there and put it on top? Is that all?. No. Power cleans with 225 lbs? Sure. Dead lift 350? next? Do I have to milk the cows? no but …spank me please!!1″

    steveg (354706)

  59. Hmm, I dunno. The Northern Europeans interbred with Neanderthals, so that’s the likely evolutionary reason. The Hawaiians? Polynesians were cannibals, and my guess is that you were either bigger and stronger than your neighbor or you were his dinner.

    nk (1d9030)

  60. I have a brain fork from Fiji.
    It smells a little gamey

    steveg (354706)

  61. When your ancestors rowed a frickin boat across 500 miles of open sea to move to Hawai’i you can do push ups.

    I’d say the jury is still out.

    Dave (1bb933)

  62. Furthermore, Tulsi is only 1/4th, or maybe less, Polynesian:

    Gabbard was raised in a multicultural household.[25][26] She is of mixed ethnicity, including Asian, Polynesian, and Caucasian descent.[27] Her mother was born in Indiana and grew up in Michigan.[28] Her father was born in American Samoa and lived in Hawaii and Florida as a child;[23][29] he is of Samoan and European ancestry.[30]

    I don’t how the Asian got into the woodpile — if from daddy’s side than she’s 3/4ths European.

    nk (1d9030)

  63. 23 and Me told me my Neanderthal side is … well, according to my wife, Obvious?
    When I was playing soccer the Hispanics around the league and in the stands nicknamed me “Viking”… neanderthal was probably more apt as I figured if their blood ran red they must be human, but by that time my neanderthal side had dismembered them anyway so the question was moot.

    Regardless of if I’m pacific islander or viking, if i row my metric tonnage of women and kids and pots and pans and stuff across uncharted oceans and then you give me crap… I’m letting the ladies sort it out while I eat some fish… and maybe eat your brain or heart depending on the day and if we packed the proper implements

    steveg (354706)

  64. Hawaii has a lot of Maritime Asians in the woodpile. Try listening to Sen. Mazie Hirono if you don’t agree.
    It is a matriarchal society so if a haole male marries a polynesian female then the kids are OK.
    Likely what happened with Gabbard.
    She’s just a flavor of the month if you ask me, but do we agree she is easier on the eyes and ears than Hillary?

    steveg (354706)

  65. #62
    One of the stupidest things a man can do is to mistake a fat guy for a weak guy.
    Or a fat guy for a guy that cannot row a boat 500 miles. Maybe he won’t be fat when he arrives at the destination?…. because maybe that is an evolutionary adaptation in action?

    steveg (354706)

  66. I don’t know if you’re a Harry Harrison fan, but he had the Neanderthals as less sexual than Sapiens in that they had mating seasons and the males were indifferent to the females unless the females were in estrous, and also less warlike, so it wasn’t too difficult for Sapiens to steal both their women and their land, and genetically dilute the species out of existence.

    Why does that sound familiar?

    nk (1d9030)

  67. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2259519/Cannibals-cutlery-The-macabre-nineteenth-century-Fijian-forks-used-tribesmen-eat-bodies-rival-soldiers.html

    Also #67
    The path of least resistance seemed like a good idea until those damned sapiens without the unibrows moved in and outsmarted us

    steveg (354706)

  68. If you really want to mess-up the democratic primary, vote for tulsi in the democrat primary. In a large field your votes will have an affect. Some states are open primary where even registered republican can vote like new hampshire. Other states independents along with democrats can vote in democrat primary. Some states like arizona you have to be registered democrat to vote in democrat party with many republicans and independents registering as democrats vote in primary and reregister the next day.

    asset (0b737f)

  69. One of the stupidest things a man can do is to mistake a fat guy for a weak guy.
    Or a fat guy for a guy that cannot row a boat 500 miles.

    Be that as it may, my boy isn’t gonna win any push-up contests.

    Dave (1bb933)

  70. Have you seen in the news, Bernie is rising in the polls? You get Hillary against you, you get half the electorate on your side.

    nk (1d9030)

  71. So then maybe this Hillary v. Tulsi thing is manufactured, in order to build up the Tulsi brand with H knowing full well the whole time? One day we will also see Marsha Blackburn and Taylor Swift hugging it out, the former thanking the latter for the black widow endorsement of Phil Bredesen.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  72. Sure he weighs 450.
    Try benching 450 more than 5 times.. all those guys who bench 450 look fat
    Or for the skinny fat, try 125

    steveg (354706)

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