Judge dismisses wrongful death suit against Clinton over Benghazi

By Eric DuVall  |  Updated May 27, 2017 at 2:40 PM
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May 27 (UPI) -- A federal judge on Friday dismissed a wrongful death suit against Hillary Clinton filed by the parents of two of the Americans killed in Benghazi.

The suit was filed in August, during the heat of the presidential campaign. It alleged Clinton's use of a private email server caused the attack that killed four Americans, including Christopher J. Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya.

Clinton was secretary of state in 2012, when the attack happened.

One of the plaintiffs, Patricia Smith, whose son Sean Smith was aong the people killed, delivered a searing indictment of Clinton at the Republican National Convention, saying the Democrat failed to protect her son and then lied to cover up how he died.

The lawsuit linked Clinton's private email server with the Benghazi incident despite there was no evidence Clinton's email server had anything to do with causing the Benghazi attack.

In her decision, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson said the question of whether Clinton's email use was appropriate was not relevant to the case.

"The Court finds that Secretary Clinton was acting in the scope of her employment when she transmitted the emails that are alleged to give rise to her liability," Jackson wrote in her 29-page opinion. "The untimely death of plaintiffs' sons is tragic, and the Court does not mean to minimize the unspeakable loss that plaintiffs have suffered in any way. But when one applies the appropriate legal standards, it is clear that plaintiffs have not alleged sufficient facts to rebut the presumption that Secretary Clinton was acting in her official capacity when she used her private email server."

Jackson also dismissed a related claim Clinton defamed the parents by lying about them in the press.

When the parents offered a different recollection of their meeting with Clinton after the attack, she told reporters the parents had not properly recalled the details of their conversation. Jackson said the discrepancies did not amount to libel and could have originated due to a simple misunderstanding.

"Secretary Clinton did not refer to plaintiffs as liars," Jackson noted. "Plaintiffs may find the candidate's statements in her own defense to be 'unpleasant or offensive,' but Secretary Clinton did not portray plaintiffs as 'odious, infamous, or ridiculous....' To the contrary, the statements portray plaintiffs as normal parents, grieving over the tragic loss of their loved ones."

A lawyer for Clinton declined to comment on the judge's ruling.

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