The parents of two of the Americans killed by Islamic terrorists during the Sept. 11, 2012 Benghazi attacks are suing Hillary Clinton for defamation, negligence and wrongful death.
Charles Woods, the father of Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, and Patricia Smith, the mother of State Department information programs officer Sean Smith, filed the lawsuit in federal court in Washington D.C. on Monday.
They are being represented by Larry Klayman, a well-known conservative activist who routinely sues federal government agencies and politicians.
Woods and Smith, both of whom have endorsed Donald Trump for president, have publicly claimed that at their sons’ memorial service at Joint Andrews Air Force Base on Sept. 14, 2012, Clinton blamed the maker of a YouTube video for the attacks. Clinton has denied ever making those statements.
“During the private meeting, Defendant Clinton lied to Plaintiffs and told Plaintiffs that the Benghazi Attack was the result of the anti-Muslim YouTube video that had been posted online and that the creator of the video would be arrested,” the suit reads.It also notes something that Woods has said in various interviews — that he took notes of that conversation with Clinton shortly after it took place.
He wrote in his diary that “I gave Hillary a hug and shook her hand, and she said we are going to have the film maker arrested who was responsible for the death of my son.”
Clinton has publicly denied that those conversations took place.
The filing points to several interviews in which Clinton disputed Woods and Smith.
In a Dec. 6, 2015 with George Stephanopoulos, Clinton was asked if she told the Benghazi victims’ families that the attacks were sparked by the film.
“No. You know, look I understand the continuing grief at the loss that parents experienced with the loss of these four brave Americans,” she said.
Clinton also denied that she was lying about that exchange during a Dec. 30, 2015 interview with the Conway (N.H) Daily Sun editorial board.
“Somebody is lying. Who is it?” Clinton was asked.
“Not me, that’s all I can tell you,” she responded.
The lawsuit asserts that Clinton’s denials constitute defamation.
“These lies were perpetrated despite the fact that she knew immediately that this video was actually not the cause of the attack,” the complaint reads, pointing to emails which show that Clinton acknowledged in private conversations in the hours and days after the the attacks that the YouTube video was not the catalyst for the onslaught.
The complaint also accuses Clinton of waged a “defamatory smear campaign” against Smith and Woods “in an attempt to save her reputation” and win the general election in November.
Clinton has attempted 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,” read the court papers.
The complaint also accuses Clinton of putting the Benghazi victims at risk by using her private email system:
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 (“Benghazi Attack”), resulting in the death of four Americans, including Sean Smith and Tyrone Woods.
While Clinton has been heavily criticized for using a private email system as secretary of state — FBI director James Comey called the decision “extremely careless” — few have alleged that her emails were intercepted by the Benghazi terrorists.
Woods and Smith, who are seeking monetary damages and a jury trial, are also suing Clinton for negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent infliction of emotional distress.