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Gabbard drops defamation lawsuit against Clinton

Gabbard drops defamation lawsuit against Clinton

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardTulsi Gabbard blasts new House rules on gender neutral language as 'height of hypocrisy' A vaccine, a Burrito and more: 7 lighter, memorable moments from 2020 Growing number of House Republicans warm to proxy voting MORE (D-Hawaii) Wednesday dropped a defamation lawsuit against former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene referred to Parkland school shooting as 'false flag' event on Facebook Senators vet Mayorkas to take lead at DHS CNN poll: Melania Trump leaving office as least popular first lady ever 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 TrumpLil Wayne gets 11th hour Trump pardon Trump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Trump expected to pardon Bannon: reports 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 SandersThe Memo: Trump leaves changed nation in his wake Cori Bush dismisses concerns of being 'co-opted' by establishment The Memo: Biden prepares for sea of challenges 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 BidenTrump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Scalise bringing Donna Brazile as guest to Biden inauguration Sidney Powell withdraws 'kraken' lawsuit in Georgia MORE, who is now the Democratic Party's presumptive presidential nominee.