Trump and his attorneys on the hook for nearly $1 million in sanctions for Clinton lawsuit, judge says
A federal judge said Thursday that former President Donald Trump and his attorneys are liable for nearly $1 million in sanctions for a lawsuit Trump brought against Hillary Clinton, ex-top Justice Department officials and several others alleging they conspired against him in the 2016 campaign.
“This case should never have been brought. Its inadequacy as a legal claim was evident from the start,” US District Judge Donald Middlebrooks of the Southern District of Florida wrote. “No reasonable lawyer would have filed it. Intended for a political purpose, none of the counts of the amended complaint stated a cognizable legal claim.”
Middlebrooks had previously granted the request for sanctions filed by one of the defendants in Trump’s lawsuit. That order — which demanded sanctions of more than $66,000 — has been paused while Trump’s attorneys appealed. The latest decision, which ordered $937,989 in sanctions, stems from a request by several other defendants, including Clinton.
“I find that the pleadings here were abusive litigation tactics,” the judge wrote in the latest order. “The Complaint and Amended Complaint were drafted to advance a political narrative; not to address legal harm caused by any Defendant.”
The judge pointed to Trump’s “pattern of misusing the courts to serve political purposes” as he ticked through several other failed lawsuits Trump has brought in recent years.
“Frivolous lawsuits should not be used as a vehicle for fundraising or fodder for rallies or social media,” Middlebrooks wrote.
“Mr. Trump is using the courts as a stage set for political theater and grievance. This behavior interferes with the ability of the judiciary to perform its constitutional duty.”
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