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Hillary tries to evade Benghazi lawsuit liability

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Responding to a federal court’s ruling that she defaulted in a wrongful-death claim against her by missing a filing deadline, Hillary Clinton is claiming she didn’t know she had been served with a lawsuit until it was too late.

The complaint was brought by the parents of two of the Americans killed by Islamic terrorists in Benghazi.

WND reported earlier this month that the federal court declared Clinton in default. The ruling, however, did not immediately establish liability, and she has responded to the court that there are several reasons she should be given a pass for missing the deadline.

WND reported in August the claims were brought by the parents of two of the Americans killed by Islamic terrorists in Benghazi.

The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by lawyer Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch USA on behalf of Patricia Smith, the mother of Sean Smith, and Charles Woods, the father of Tyrone Woods. The parents cite the FBI’s determination that Clinton’s handling of classified information through the use of a nonsecure, private email server was “extremely careless.”

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Smith and Woods were killed in the Sept. 11, 2012, jihadist attack on the American compound in Benghazi. While Clinton and other Obama administration officials were publicly blaming the deaths on a response to an obscure YouTube video, internal communications show they knew immediately that it was a terrorist attack.

The wrongful death claim also alleges defamation and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

“Having used a secret private email server that we now know was used to communicate with Ambassador Christopher Stevens with confidential and classified government information, and which we also now know was likely hacked by hostile adversaries such as Iran, Russia, China and North Korea aligning with terrorist groups, it is clear that Hillary Clinton allegedly negligently and recklessly gave up the classified location of the plaintiffs’ sons, resulting in a deadly terrorist attack that took their lives. It is no coincidence that covert State Department/CIA operations were being run out of Benghazi,” Klayman said.

“To add insult to deadly injury, Hillary Clinton told the plaintiffs that their sons were killed as the result of a video mocking the Islamic prophet Mohammed when she knew that they were murdered by Muslim terrorists. When the families exposed her lies, she called them liars to protect her reputation and to further her own presidential ambitions. She thus defamed the parents of fallen heroes Tyrone Woods and Sean Smith, and committed other wrongful acts, as alleged in the complaint.

“Hillary Clinton has been thus far fortunate, throughout her career, to escape the long arm of the law, believing and acting as if she is above the law. This time, her ‘luck’ has run out.”

Clinton said in an email to her daughter immediately after the attack that it was an act of terrorism.

Deputy court clerk Reginald Johnson recently signed a document in the case stating, “It appearing that the above-named defendant(s) failed to plead or otherwise defend this action though duly served with summons and copy of the complaint on 8/11/2016, and an affidavit on behalf of the plaintiff having been filed, it is this 9th day of September, 2016, declared that defendant(s) is/are in default.”

Now Klayman has filed a response to Clinton’s claims that she should be exempted from some basic court procedural requirements.

To her claim that she didn’t know, he wrote: “Process server Jackson Johnson stated that, on August 11, 2016, he delivered a copy of the required documentation to defendant Clinton’s campaign headquarters. … This was done only after plaintiffs had attempted to serve defendant Clinton personally at her Washington, D.C., residence. There, defendant Clinton’s U.S. Secret Service contingent, at defendant Clinton’s obvious direction, advised the process serve to serve defendant Clinton at her campaign headquarters.”

He continued, “Only when defendant Clinton’s campaign staff, obviously at her direction, attempted to evade service of process were the documents left ‘in the possession of a security officer’ who ‘did not provide his name.'”

Further, her argument that she should be exempt from a 21-day time limit to respond because she is a federal employee is erroneous.

“Much of plaintiffs’ cause of action for defamation is based entirely on statements made by defendant Clinton after she had left the State Department. These statements at issue were made in either 2015 or 2016 during defendant Clinton’s campaign for president,” the motion argued.

Klayman also wrote that her claims that her default was not “willful” because she didn’t know a security guard had accepted copies of the complaint doesn’t make sense.

The process server, for example, “expressly stated that defendant Clinton and her staff were ‘unwilling to present themselves to accept service of process’ of the summons and complaint,” the filing continued.

And Clinton’s counsel even admitted being aware of the lawsuit “shortly after its filing.”

“Lastly, and perhaps most incredibly, defendant Clinton and her counsel have flouted and trifled with the court’s process and on their own decided that defendant Clinton is not in default, and is above being subject to Local Rule 7(b) which mandates that any motion to vacate entry of default be accompanied by ‘a verified answer presenting a defense sufficient to bar the claim in whole or in part,'” Klayman wrote.

“She does not believe that she is in default, despite the fact that the clerk of this court has made the opposition determination,” he said.

Klayman told WND that Clinton’s lack of response to the claims was an indication of her level of concern for them: She “just doesn’t care.”

Patricia Smith said in a speech at the Republican National Convention in July, “I blame Hillary Clinton personally for the death of my son.”

The lawsuit notes the FBI found Clinton, “at a minimum, was ‘extremely careless’ in handling confidential and classified government information and ‘there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information.'”

The case alleges that Clinton’s unsecure personal email setup allowed “foreign powers including, but not limited to Russia, Iran, China and North Korea” to obtain information about the Americans.

“Immediately after the attack, defendant Clinton, in an effort to save the re-election chances of President Barack Obama, and in turn, her own chances at the 2016 presidency, lied to plaintiffs and the public at large that the Benghazi attacks were caused by Islamic reaction over an anti-Muslim YouTube video … these lies were perpetrated despite the fact that she knew immediately that this video was actually not the cause of the attack – information that she shared with the prime minister of Egypt and her own daughter, Chelsea Clinton, but hid from plaintiffs and the public at large.

“Clinton even promised plaintiffs that the person responsible for the video would be arrested. … Woods recorded the conversation with defendant Clinton contemporaneously in his diary.”

Now, the case explains, Clinton “has gone on a defamatory smear campaign to paint plaintiffs as liars in the public eye in order to discredit plaintiffs, who have been vocal about defendant Clinton’s pattern and practice of dishonesty regarding what caused the Benghazi attack, its aftermath, and the death of their sons.”

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Specifically, it charges Islamic terrorists “obtained the information sent and received by defendant Clinton about the location of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and thus the U.S. Department of State and the covert CIA and other government operations in Benghazi and used it to plan, orchestrate, and carry out the horrific and devastating attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012 … resulting in the death of four Americans.”

The case alleges, “Without having access to the compromised information that was obtained due to defendant Clinton’s ‘extremely careless’ handling of confidential information, the Islamic terrorist perpetrators of the Benghazi attack would not have been able to carry out the attack due to lack of information.”

The case demands a jury trial and seeks general, special, actual, compensatory and punitive damages.

In a commentary about the case, Klayman wrote: “Indeed, after the fatal attack on the consulate in Benghazi, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told her own daughter, Chelsea Clinton, a director to the racketeering enterprise known as the Clinton Foundation (see RICO complaint at FreedomWatchUSA.org), that the massacre occurred at the hands of terrorists, not a simple video mocking the degenerate Islamic prophet Muhammad. Hillary Clinton also said the same thing to the prime minister of Egypt. Later, however, Hillary Clinton lied to Pat Smith and Charles Woods, the parents of fallen heroes Sean Smith and Tyrone Woods. When Pat Smith and Charles Woods sought to correct this falsity by disclosing publicly what Clinton had told them, she branded them as liars to further her own political and presidential ambitions.”

He explained public officials are immune from personal liability, but only if the “alleged misconduct did not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional law of which a reasonable person would have known.”

“It balances two important interests – the need to hold public officials accountable when they exercise power irresponsibly or incompetently and the need to shield officials from liabilities when they perform their duties reasonably,” he said.

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