Additional lawsuits filed by political activists following Lazzaro case

(KSTP) – Two local political activists have filed lawsuits against each other this week, which comes after GOP donor Anton "Tony" Lazzarro’s indictment on child sex trafficking charges.

Both lawsuits involve DFL strategist Justin Perpich and Republican consultant William "Billy" Grant, according to the filings submitted in Hennepin County court. The initial lawsuit filed by Grant claims independent journalist Rebecca Brannon and Perpich defamed him with statements made on Twitter, linking him to Lazzaro.

Grant called the allegations "false" and "defamatory," and added prospective clients have said "they either no longer support or may no longer support him in the future," according to the filings.

Perpich responded to the lawsuit by filing a countersuit of his own. The suit was made official on Wednesday. In it, Perpich alleges Grant is attempting to silence him "with respect to his speech about this matter of public concern," according to the lawsuit.

Brannon is being sued due to her tweeting about Lazzaro’s ties to Republicans, after Lazzaro was arrested and charged for recruiting minors, grooming them and attempted to buy their silence with gifts and money. Former GOP chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan was one of the names Brannon mentioned, as she also co-hosted a podcast with Lazzaro. She eventually resigned from her position.

"Numerous former MNGOP employees confirm to me that NDAs are relentlessly forced on them by Carnahan and by her strong arm personal confidants like Lazzaro, Billy Grant, and Spencer Krier," the tweet reads, in part.

To read the full report by KSTP click here.