Gennifer Flowers v. James Carville, George Stephanopoulos and Little, Brown & Company
Judicial Watch exposed the inner workings of the Clinton smear machine by filing suit against Hillary Rodham Clinton, James Carville, and George Stephanopoulos on behalf of Gennifer Flowers. When Flowers publicly acknowledged having an affair with then-Governor Bill Clinton and released audiotapes of telephone conversations between herself and Clinton discussing the affair, Rodham Clinton, Carville, and Stephanopoulos conspired to discredit Flowers and smear her good name. In furtherance of this conspiracy and acting as Rodham Clinton’s surrogates, Carville and Stephanopoulos repeatedly defamed Ms. Flowers in the national media.Judicial Watch brought a defamation and conspiracy lawsuit against Rodham Clinton, Carville, and Stephanopoulos in federal court in Nevada on Flowers’ behalf. Because the case involved high-profile public figures, however, the district court dismissed the action quickly. Judicial Watch succeeded in having the case reinstated on appeal, but, when the case returned to the district court, a magistrate judge placed severe limitations on the scope and timing discovery, which prevented Judicial Watch from obtaining key evidence necessary to support Flowers’ claims. The district court then granted the defendants’ summary judgment motions, and, this time, a different panel of the appellate court declined to hold an oral argument and rubber-stamped the district court’s opinion.Nonetheless, this case illustrates Judicial Watch’s strong commitment to hold government officials to account for their conduct, even when those officials are high-profile public figures like Bill and Hillary Clinton.
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