Gabbard drops defamation lawsuit against Clinton

Gabbard drops defamation lawsuit against Clinton

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardTulsi Gabbard on Chicago mayor's decision to limit media interviews to people of color: 'Anti-white racism' Fox News says network and anchor Leland Vittert have 'parted ways' New co-chairs named for congressional caucus for millennials MORE (D-Hawaii) Wednesday dropped a defamation lawsuit against former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden says Russia spreading misinformation ahead of 2022 elections Highest-ranking GOP assemblyman in WI against another audit of 2020 vote Women's March endorses Nina Turner in first-ever electoral endorsement MORE, ending a brief legal battle over allegations that Gabbard was being supported by Russia. 

The lawsuit was filed after Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, said in January that Gabbard, who at the time was a 2020 White House contender, was being groomed by Moscow to wage a third-party bid and was a “Russian asset.” 

Gabbard’s legal team said on Wednesday that Gabbard was confident the suit had “merit” but that her focus is needed elsewhere during the coronavirus pandemic.

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“Plaintiffs Tulsi Gabbard and Tulsi Now, Inc. dismiss this action,” Gabbard’s lawyers, Dan Terzian and Janice Roven, said in a court filing. “While they remain certain of the action's legal merit, they are just as certain that this new COVID and post-COVID world require them to focus their time and attention on other priorities, including defeating Donald TrumpDonald TrumpFormer New York state Senate candidate charged in riot Trump called acting attorney general almost daily to push election voter fraud claim: report GOP senator clashes with radio caller who wants identity of cop who shot Babbitt MORE in 2020, rather than righting the wrongs here.”

The lawsuit accused Clinton of having “no basis for making her false assertions” and said that Gabbard was owed damages “estimated to exceed $50 million.”

Gabbard accused Clinton of holding a grudge over the Hawaii lawmaker's 2016 endorsement of Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBriahna Joy Gray: White House thinks extending student loan pause is a 'bad look' Lawmakers can't reconcile weakening the SALT cap with progressive goals Human rights can't be a sacrificial lamb for climate action MORE (I-Vt.), Clinton’s then-rival in the Democratic presidential primary.

"This was a publicity stunt through and through, and this filing makes that clear," Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Clinton, told CNN in a statement, including the phrase "good riddance" in Russian. 

Gabbard used the suit in an attempt to gin up attention for her struggling White House bid and boost support ahead of the Iowa caucuses, but she barely registered in the Hawkeye State and her campaign fizzled out. She ultimately dropped out of the race in March and endorsed former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBriahna Joy Gray: White House thinks extending student loan pause is a 'bad look' Biden to meet with 11 Democratic lawmakers on DACA: report Former New York state Senate candidate charged in riot MORE, who is now the Democratic Party's presumptive presidential nominee.