By LIAM QUINN
A suit blaming Hillary Clinton for the deaths of two Americans during the 2012 Benghazi attack in Libya has been thrown out. A federal judge dismissed the claims leveled against Clinton by Patricia Smith - the mother of Sean Smith - and Charles Woods - father of Tyrone Woods on Friday.
Smith and Woods claimed the former Secretary of State's alleged lack of email security was directly responsible for the deaths of Sean Smith, a State Department communications specialist, and CIA contractor Tyrone Woods, two of four men who died on the night of September 11, 2012. CIA operative Glen Doherty and Christopher Stevens, the American Ambassador to Libya, were the other two men killed.
Judge Amy Berman Jackson dismissed the wrongful death part of the suit after ruling Clinton's email use had been within the parameters of what would be expected of someone in her position.
'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, court papers obtained by Politico state. '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, who was appointed by President Obama in 2010, added: 'It does not matter whether Secretary Clinton used a private email server lawfully or unlawfully. 'Instead, the relevant inquiry is whether Secretary Clinton’s electronic communications with State Department personnel about official business during her tenure were within the scope of her employment as the head of the State Department. 'Her actions – communicating with other State Department personnel and advisors about the official business of the department – fall squarely within the scope of her duty to run the Department and conduct the foreign affairs of the nation as Secretary of State.' A defamation claim included in the suit, which was based around Smith and Woods' claim Clinton: 'directly called them liars, or strongly implied that they are liars'.
'Secretary Clinton did not refer to plaintiffs as liars,' the ruling reads. 'And in each of the other responses cataloged in the complaint, Secretary Clinton expressed empathy and regret. '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.'
Both parents who filed the suit against Clinton are stringently against the former Secretary of State, with Smith even supporting Donald Trump by speaking at the Republican National Convention last year. 'For all of this loss, for all of this grief, for all of the cynicism the tragedy in Benghazi has wrought upon America, I blame Hillary Clinton,' she said at the convention. 'I blame Hillary Clinton personally for the death of my son.' An 800-page report published last June, after a partisan investigation of more than two years by House Republicans, did not blame Clinton.