NEW YORK (TBEN) — A Florida judge on Thursday sanctioned former President Donald Trump and one of his lawyers, ordering them to pay nearly $1 million for filing what it says was a bogus lawsuit against Trump rival Hillary Clinton from 2016 and others.
In a blistering indictment, U.S. District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks accused Trump of a “pattern of abuse of the courts” for filing frivolous lawsuits for political ends, which he says “undermine the rule of law” and “amount to obstruction of justice.” . ”
“Here we are faced with a lawsuit that should never have been brought, which was utterly frivolous, both factually and legally, and was brought in bad faith for an improper purpose,” he wrote.
Citing Trump’s recent legal action against the Pulitzer Prize board, New York Attorney General Letitia James, major tech companies and CNN, he described Trump as “a prolific and sophisticated litigant” who uses the courts “to get revenge on political opponents.”
“He is the mastermind behind strategic abuse of the judicial process,” he wrote.
According to the ruling, Trump and his attorney, Alina Habba, were ordered to pay nearly $938,000 to the defendants in the case.
A spokesperson for Trump and Habba did not immediately respond to requests for comment late Thursday.
Middlebrooks in September dismissed Trump’s lawsuit against Clinton, former top FBI and Democratic Party officials, dismissing the former president’s claims that they and others had conspired to sink his winning presidential campaign by claiming that he had ties to Russia.
The lawsuit had named as defendants Clinton and some of her top advisers, as well as former FBI Director James Comey and other FBI officials involved in the investigation into whether Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign coordinated with Russia to control the outcome of the influence the elections.
He then said the suit contained “glaring structural flaws” and that many of the “characterizations of events are implausible”.