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Gabbard drops defamation lawsuit against Clinton

Gabbard drops defamation lawsuit against Clinton

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardHarris faces biggest moment in spotlight yet Ocasio-Cortez slams Tulsi Gabbard for amplifying ballot harvesting video Republicans call on DOJ to investigate Netflix over 'Cuties' film MORE (D-Hawaii) Wednesday dropped a defamation lawsuit against former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHarris lists out 'racist' actions by Trump in '60 minutes' interview: 'It all speaks for itself' Trump has list of top intelligence officials he'll fire if he wins reelection: report Clinton says most Republicans want to see Trump gone but can't say it publicly: report 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 John TrumpFox News president, top anchors advised to quarantine after coronavirus exposure: report Six notable moments from Trump and Biden's '60 Minutes' interviews Biden on attacks on mental fitness: Trump thought '9/11 attack was 7/11 attack' 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 SandersOcasio-Cortez says Democrats must focus on winning White House for Biden All fracked up: Biden's Keystone State breakdown The Memo: Five reasons why Trump could upset the odds 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 BidenFox News president, top anchors advised to quarantine after coronavirus exposure: report Six notable moments from Trump and Biden's '60 Minutes' interviews Biden on attacks on mental fitness: Trump thought '9/11 attack was 7/11 attack' MORE, who is now the Democratic Party's presumptive presidential nominee.