Former President Donald Trump arrives at his home in Mar-a-Lago on December 31, 2022.
Joe Raedle | Getty Images
A federal judge on Thursday imposed nearly $1 million in sanctions against former President Donald Trump and his attorney for filing a “frivolous” lawsuit against Hillary Clinton and many others who alleged they tried to tip the 2016 presidential election in Clinton’s favor. manipulate.
“This case should never have been brought,” U.S. District Court Judge John Middlebrooks for the Southern District of Florida wrote in his order approving Trump for the civil suit, which the judge had previously rejected.
“Its inadequacy as a legal claim was apparent from the start,” Middlebrooks wrote.
“No reasonable attorney would have filed it. Intended for political purposes, none of the counts of the amended complaint stated an identifiable legal claim.”
According to the order, Republican Trump and his lead attorney in the case, Alina Habba, are jointly and severally liable for the total amount of sanctions imposed by the judge: $937,989.39.
“The amount of fees awarded in this case, while reasonable, is significant,” Middlebrooks wrote.
Trump, who is seeking the 2024 GOP presidential nominee, filed his lawsuit against Clinton, who was the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, in March.
Other defendants included Democratic National Commission former DNC chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Clinton campaign manager John Podesta, the law firm Perkins Coie, the research firm Fusion GPS, former FBI officials Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, as well as Christopher Steele, the ex-British intelligence agent who produced the infamous “Trump-Russia dossier” pre-election investigative report.
The lawsuit, which sought $70 million in damages, charged the defendants with conspiracy to “weave a false narrative” during the 2016 election that Trump and his campaign colluded with Russia in their efforts to win the race.
The lawsuit alleged that Clinton and other defendants falsified evidence, misled law enforcement agencies, and engaged in other deceptions that “even the events of Watergate pale in comparison.”
Middlebrooks had in September dismissed the lawsuit against Clinton and all other defendants except the U.S. government “with prejudice,” preventing Trump from re-submitting the complaint.
In his order on Thursday, Middlebrooks noted that Trump’s lawsuit was “fatally flawed in substance” and that the factual allegations were undermined and contradicted by the public reports and documents it claimed to rely on.
The MIddlebrooks order is the latest in a series of embarrassing legal setbacks for Trump, including the criminal conviction last month by the New York State Court of his Manhattan-based real estate firm, The Trump Organization, for a years-long tax evasion scheme.
Trump and company are also facing a major civil suit by the New York Attorney General over an alleged scheme to misrepresent real estate valuations for financial gain, and Trump is also being sued by writer E. Jean Carroll , accusing him of raping her in New York in the mid-1990s.
A grand Georgia state jury recently completed gathering evidence and hearing testimony as part of an ongoing criminal investigation into whether Trump illegally attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 state election, which he lost.
And federal prosecutors are investigating Trump for attempting to reverse his loss in the national election to President Joe Biden and taking government documents back to his Florida residence when he left office.
This is the latest news. Check back later for updates.