Politics - News Analysis
Tulsi Gabbard Takes Massive Risk: Sues Hillary Clinton for Defamation
I am not entirely sure that Gabbard has thought this entirely through.
The Hill is reporting that Tulsi Gabbard filed suit against Hillary Clinton for defamation. You will recall that Hillary made an inference during a podcast that Gabbard was a Russian asset.
Referencing Gabbard, Clinton said:
“They’re also going to do third-party. I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who’s currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate,” Clinton said.
“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, I mean totally. They know they can’t win without a third-party candidate,” Clinton said.
Gabbard claims that Clinton made the statement in retribution for Gabbard supporting Bernie Sanders in 2016, calling Clinton a “cutthroat politician.”
Gabbard’s stated goal is straightforward:
“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,” the lawsuit says.
This is one very high stakes lawsuit, for both parties.
It is entirely possible that Hillary made a reckless accusation. Hillary has a history of saying things without thinking through the ramifications. The “deplorable” comment comes to mind. No matter how true, it is never a good idea to insult any fraction of the electorate, ever. The comment did nothing but further motivate those opposed to Clinton. It is just one example, but Hillary has made mistakes off the cuff before.
On the other hand, Hillary is far more informed as to shenanigans played by Russians and their friends than the average citizen. Meanwhile, Tulsi has acted … strangely, for quite some time. Some of Gabbard’s positions are near inexplicable unless one considers possible backing from dark forces to the east. Voting “present” in the impeachment of Trump? I am not making any accusations, because I do not know.
I only know that Tulsi Gabbard’s positions and choices don’t seem to ever add-up to anything consistent and sensible.
But Gabbard best be prepared to prove everything adds-up. Because as every American knows, “truth” is the ultimate defense to a defamation suit. Clinton’s lawyers will have the court’s full authority to engage in a meticulous investigation into Gabbard’s background, including campaign funding, communications, travel, things that would otherwise be private or beyond discovery, can suddenly be revealed. After all, it was Gabbard who brought the lawsuit, saying it was a lie. In bringing the lawsuit for defamation, Gabbard has effectively consented to a forensic autopsy of her campaign and political career.
It may be that Gabbard is entirely clean and she has been defamed by Clinton. But it may also be that there are elements backing Gabbard that would have been best left lurking unseen in dark corners of the internet, but now are subject to intense scrutiny. Moreover, unless the judge orders certain documents sealed (and that would be unusual in a case such as this), whatever information Clinton obtains will make its way to the public.
IF Gabbard has some illegal backing, her backers might be extremely nervous right now and nix the lawsuit quickly
I hope that Clinton thought through her allegation, and I hope that Gabbard thought through her decision. This case might have been filed as a PR move, something to get a headline and dismissed – quietly – a month from now. But if it is a serious suit, with serious litigation, someone is going to suffer a serious loss.
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