U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about the September 11 attacks against the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, on Capitol Hill January 23, 2013 in Washington, DC. Lawmakers questioned Clinton about the security failures that led to the death of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Photo: Alex Wong
Photo: Alex Wong

Benghazi victims' parents sue Hillary Clinton, claim wrongful death

The parents of two people killed in the 2012 Benghazi attack filed suit Monday against Hillary Clinton, claiming the former secretary of state's "reckless handling" of classified information led "directly and proximately" to the deaths of their children.

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The federal lawsuit was filed on behalf of Patricia Smith, mother of U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith, and Charles Woods, father of CIA contractor Tyrone Woods.

Sean Smith died when Islamic militants attacked the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012, and Tyrone Woods died in a related attack about one mile from the consulate. Two other people, U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and CIA contractor Glen Doherty, were also killed.

In the suit, the parents argued that Clinton likely tipped terrorists off to Stevens' location because of her use of a private email server, giving the attackers the information needed to "plan, orchestrate and carry out" the attack.

"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 suit stated, quoting FBI Director James Comey.

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A two-year probe by House Republicans found no evidence to directly link Clinton's actions as causing the Benghazi attack. They did, however, find that she and other officials failed to accurately address the risks involved in the diplomatic mission.

In the suit, the families also claimed Clinton made "false and defamatory statements negligently, recklessly, purposefully, and/or intentionally with actual malice" while speaking about the assault and while connecting it with an anti-Muslim YouTube video.

In a statement released to CNN, Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill said, "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."

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Pat Smith and Charles Woods have both spoken out against Clinton before and voiced support for her rival in the race for the White House, GOP nominee Donald Trump.

"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," Pat Smith said on the opening night of the Republican National Convention last month. "I blame Hillary Clinton personally for the death of my son."

In an appearance earlier this month on the One America News Network, Charles Woods said he believed Trump would be a better president for national security than Clinton.

"I support Donald Trump, and the main reason is national security, as well as the economy," Woods said, naming both issues "the two most important" for voters come November.

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