Parents of Benghazi victims sue Clinton for sons’ deaths
Benghazi Attack | Nearly four years later, families are still seeking answers about the attack in Libya
by Evan Wilt
Posted 8/10/16, 04:14 pm
WASHINGTON—Parents of two Americans slain in the 2012 terror attacks in Benghazi, Libya, filed a lawsuit against Hillary Clinton on Monday, claiming she bears responsibility for the wrongful deaths of their sons.
“The person that’s responsible is Hillary Clinton—she’s the one that did this,” said Pat Smith, the mother of fallen U.S. Foreign Service member Sean Smith.
The two plaintiffs in the case are Smith and Charles Woods, father of former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods. Sean and Tyrone were two of the four Americans killed during the widely publicized terror attacks. The lawsuit focuses heavily on Clinton’s improper use of a private email server while secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. The court action is sure to fuel ongoing political fodder a month after FBI Director James Comey called Clinton “extremely careless” with her emails and less than two weeks after she formally accepted the Democratic nomination for president.
The lawsuit claims someone hacked Clinton’s emails, which led to the attacks. It states Clinton’s negligent and reckless actions compromised the location of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, allowing terrorists to attack and kill him, along with Glen Doherty, Sean Smith, and Tyrone Woods.
“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 lawsuit states.
Attorney Larry Klayman, a longtime Clinton critic, represents Smith and Woods. He has filed more than a dozen cases against the Clintons and founded Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch, groups that have uncovered through Freedom of Information Act requests hundreds of emails Clinton failed to turn over to federal officials.
Klayman is requesting a judgment against Clinton for compensatory and punitive damages determined by a jury.
But proving Clinton guilty of wrongful death will be no small task.
After the FBI’s year-long investigation into the Clinton email scandal, Comey found Clinton negligent but ultimately said her case lacked the requirements for criminal prosecution. He outlined a plethora of violations and careless actions by Clinton and her staff, which included using a non-sanctioned and unprotected server to send and receive 110 classified emails. Eight email chains contained top-secret information. The FBI director said while her mishaps were significant, no reasonable prosecutor would take up the case against her.
Comey later testified before Congress that Clinton’s emails were no safer than a free Gmail account and could have been easily hacked. Upon concluding its investigation, the FBI found no evidence of a successful hack into Clinton’s private server but didn’t rule out the possibility of it happening.
For Smith and Woods to win their case, they would have to prove someone hacked Clinton’s account and used stolen information to caused their son’s deaths.
The other major cause of action in the case is for defamation—making a false statement that damages someone’s good name and reputation.
At the funerals for their sons, Clinton met with both Smith and Woods and told them an anti-Muslim YouTube video instigated the attack. She vowed to find and punish the filmmaker. After investigators debunked that explanation, Clinton denied she said it and implied Smith and Woods lied when they publicly recounted the exchange.
Clinton campaign spokesman Nick Merrill dismissed the lawsuit’s viability.
“While no one can imagine the pain of the families of the brave Americans we lost at Benghazi, there have been nine different investigations into this attack and none found any evidence whatsoever of any wrongdoing on the part of Hillary Clinton,” he said.
Smith made headlines last month when she gave an emotional speech during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. She said her son called her the night before his death and told her the state department pulled out its security forces and he feared for his life.
With tears in her eyes, she told the crowd to this day she does not understand why her son was even sent to Benghazi and no one at the State Department will give a clear answer.
Smith told me today she doesn’t care about compensation or what people think about her. She just wants an explanation as to why Clinton directed security guards away from her son.
“Hillary did it and I want to know why,” she said.
Evan is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Washington, D.C.