Late Wednesday afternoon, federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson issued a ruling against the parents of Benghazi victims who sued Hillary Clinton earlier this year. The plaintiffs, in this case, were trying to get the Court to uphold a default judgment against Clinton for failing to respond to their lawsuit. One of the plaintiffs, Patricia Smith, is expected to appear at the Presidential debate to support Donald Trump on Wednesday night.
Earlier this month, a clerk in federal court in D.C. entered a default judgment in the case after Clinton failed to respond to the lawsuit. David Kendall, Clinton’s attorney, claimed that Clinton was not properly served the lawsuit, and therefore the default was “erroneous.” Wednesday afternoon, a judge agreed with Clinton, and ordered that the judgment against her be thrown out.
“Whether or not the defendant was served with process in accordance with applicable state law, defendant is now on notice of this lawsuit, and counsel entered an appearance on her behalf on September 15, 2016,” Judge Jackson wrote. Jackson was appointed by President Obama to the bench in 2011. But, let’s be clear, that doesn’t mean this case is over. There are still many procedural and substantive matters that must be addressed by the Court.
Smith and Charles Woods are the parents of American U.S. Foreign Service member Sean Smith, and Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods who both died during the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. They sued Clinton for wrongful death, defamation, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
They allege that Clinton lied to them about the cause of the Benghazi attack. She allegedly told them in a private meeting that the attack “was the result of [an] anti-Muslim YouTube video that had been posted online and that the creator of the video would be arrested.” The complaint alleges that “Clinton has negligently, recklessly, and/or maliciously defamed Plaintiffs by … directly calling them liars[.]”
Clinton’s attorneys said that the underlying lawsuit is “facially implausible,” politically motivated, and contradicted by the findings of the FBI.