Folks, I have quite a bit of experience being a defendant in vexatious nuisance lawsuits alleging defamation (four LOLsuits each from Brett Kimberlin and Bill Schmalfeldt). Of course, I won all those suits. Seven were dismissed for various reasons. One went to trial, and my codefendants and I won when the judge stopped the trial after Kimberlin rested case because the plaintiff hadn’t shown that we had made any false statements about him and granted a directed verdict in our favor. I tend to have a bias in favor of defendants in defamation suits, but in this case … not so much.
IANAL, but my initial sense of Tulsi Gabbard’s suit against Hillary Clinton alleging defamation is that it’s interesting.
The complaint specifically quotes Clinton’s allegedly false and defamatory remarks, citing when and how they were published. As I understand it, the complaint claims that falsely stating that an Army National Guard officer is the asset of foreign power is defamatory per se because if that were true, the officer would be unfit for his or her professional duties as a soldier. Tulsi Gabbard is a major in the Hawaii National Guard. She’s also a member of the House Armed Services Committee, an assignment that requires access to classified defense information. Being a Russian asset should be similarly disqualifying in that professional role.
Congresswoman Gabbard’s case appears to be much stronger than anything her colleagues are presenting to the Senate. But being based on actual facts tends to make a case stronger. I don’t know how far her suit will go in court, but I’m ordering more popcorn.