Hillary Clinton Asks Judge to Toss Trump’s Conspiracy Suit
Hillary Clinton Asks Judge to Toss Trump Conspiracy Lawsuit
(Bloomberg) -- Hillary Clinton asked a judge to throw out a lawsuit by former President Donald Trump that accused her of leading a vast conspiracy against him, calling the case a “fundraising tool” full of political grievances.
Trump’s suit claims Clinton, the Democratic National Committee and dozens of other defendants ginned up allegations that he colluded with Russia before and after the 2016 election, leading to a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe that undermined his presidency, damaged his reputation and hurt him financially.
In a motion to dismiss filed Wednesday in federal court in Florida, Clinton said the suit was based on false claims about her and other Democrats and was also filed too late. She said that Trump was making similar allegations in 2017, placing his claims beyond the statute of limitations.
“Notwithstanding his rousing, all-caps call to action, plaintiff waited four years, four months, and twenty-four days before filing suit. His delay renders each of his claims untimely,” Clinton’s attorneys said in the filing.
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Trump’s lawyer, Alina Habba, derided Clinton’s arguments.
“It’s telling that the only defense they have is that we should have sued them earlier,” Habba said in an email. “The defendants won’t escape liability for their actions since their conduct has been ongoing and they have continuously made efforts to conceal their wrongdoing.”
The suit, filed in March, claims Trump and his real-estate company have racked up at least $24 million in legal expenses and suffered losses on “existing and future business opportunities” as a result of allegations that he had corrupt ties to Russia and its president.
Trump’s complaint names more than a dozen defendants, many of whom he has previously publicly attacked. They include former FBI Director James Comey, Clinton Campaign Chair John Podesta and British intelligence ex-agent Christopher Steele, who created a controversial dossier on Trump’s alleged Russia ties. The suit also targets some 20 unnamed individuals and companies who were allegedly part of the conspiracy.
Filed under the civil version of a racketeering statute normally used against organized crime, the suit largely echoes themes from the former president’s speeches and public statements. Trump alleges Clinton and the other defendants conspired to create the Steele Dossier and also provided false statements to law enforcement that resulted in multiple investigations into Trump, his campaign and his associates.
Trump-appointed Special Counsel John Durham is currently leading an investigation into the origins of the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe. Durham charged DNC-linked lawyer Michael Sussmann with lying to the FBI for saying he wasn’t representing any client when he gave the agency information purporting to link Trump Tower to a Russia-based bank a few months before the 2016 election.
Sussmann, who has denied the charge and pleaded not guilty, is also a defendant in Trump’s suit.
Clinton said in her Wednesday motion that the suit was essentially claiming that there were people and organizations that supported her candidacy and, after the election, opposed the Trump administration.
“This is conduct plainly protected by the First Amendment, and there is nothing unlawful about engagement in political activity,” she said.
Clinton’s filing also ridiculed Trump for accusing her of and other Democrats of conspiring to disseminate “patently false and injurious information” about him -- which she said boils down to “public speech with which he disagrees.”
The matter is before U.S. District Judge Donald Middlebrooks in West Palm Beach, Florida. Earlier this month, Trump moved to disqualify Middlebrooks because he was appointed to the bench by Bill Clinton, but the judge denied his request.
The case is Trump v. Clinton, 22-cv-14102, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida.
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