Tulsi Gabbard demands retraction of Romney ‘treason’ accusation
Former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) sent a cease and desist letter to Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) over a March tweet in which he alleged her statements were “treasonous lies” and said she was “parroting false Russian propaganda.”
In a tweet on Wednesday, Gabbard shared that she had sent cease and desist letters to Romney and former television personality Keith Olbermann over their statements “asserting that Gabbard was parroting false Russian propaganda.”
“When powerful, influential people make baseless accusations of treason, a crime punishable by death, in order to intimidate, silence and censor those who speak the truth, it has a chilling effect on our democracy,” she said.
“This cannot go unchecked,” Gabbard added.
In an appearance on Fox News on Wednesday, Gabbard reiterated her statement and said “When powerful and influential people basically threaten and intimidate people into silence as Mitt Romney … [is] doing, they’re hoping to achieve that effect that if anybody dares speak out against the government … [or] criticize whatever the washed, permanent Washington establishment narrative is, then you will be smeared … as a treasonous traitor.”
The letters demand that both Romney and Olbermann “cease these false, defamatory, and malicious claims” and that they “retract/takedown all such statements made about Gabbard and destroy all copies of those statements.”
Gabbard’s attorneys added that both Romney and Olbermann have until April 27 to confirm that they will comply with these demands, and to indicate whether they will enter into a settlement.
Romney’s office did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment.
While the Utah Republican did not specify what comments from Gabbard he was responding to, it appears it is likely he was referencing her unsubstantiated claims regarding U.S.-funded biolabs in Ukraine.
Gabbard claimed in a March 13 tweet that there are “25 to 30 U.S. funded bio labs in Ukraine.”
Romney has faced scrutiny from within his party over his vote, along with six other GOP senators, to convict former President Trump in 2021 for inciting the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol that led to five deaths.
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