A federal judge in South Florida who dismissed Donald Trump’s lawsuit against Hillary Clinton and other Democrats over the 2016 re-election campaign has awarded the former president and his attorneys a total of $1 million in legal fees and filing costs. hit. them.
US District Judge Donald Middlebrooks ruled in his restraining order Thursday that Trump, his attorney Alina Habba and his law firm Habba Madayo & Associates must pay $937,989.39 in attorneys’ fees and costs to Clinton’s attorneys and 30 other plaintiffs in the case. Have to do Middlebrooks dismissed Trump’s lawsuit last year.
Middlebrooks concluded that the lawsuit was filed by Trump and his lawyers in “bad faith”, echoing his political allegation that Clinton, the DNC and others orchestrated the “Russia hoax” involving Trump colluding with the Russians. It was portrayed as a conspiracy to interfere in the 2016 election. campaign. Clinton lost the election to Trump, who was investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller, but was not charged with a crime after Mueller determined that the Russian government had interfered with the US presidential campaign.
“Here we are faced with a lawsuit that should never have been filed, that was factually and legally frivolous, and that has been denied,” Middlebrooks wrote in a scathing 46-page banning order against Trump. was brought with mala fide intention for improper purpose.” … and their lawyers.
The judge said, “Mr. Trump is a prolific and sophisticated litigator who has repeatedly used the courts to seek revenge on political opponents.” “He is the mastermind of strategic misuse of judicial process and cannot be seen as blindly following the advice of a lawyer. he knew full well the effect of his actions [y]for [lo tanto]I believe that sanctions should be imposed on Mr. Trump and his lead attorney, Ms. Hubba.
In the lawsuit filed in federal court in West Palm Beach, Trump and his attorneys said Clinton and other top Democrats “formed a malicious conspiracy to spread patently false and damaging information about Donald J. Trump and his campaign.” , with all hope for his life, destroying his political career, and rigging the 2016 presidential election in favor of Hillary Clinton.
Middlebrooks, responding to defense attorneys’ motion for sanctions, described Trump’s lawsuit against Clinton as a political ploy, saying “its inadequacy as a legal claim was apparent from the outset.”
“No reasonable lawyer would bring this forward,” the judge wrote. “For a political purpose, none of the allegations in the amended complaint constitute a cognizable legal claim.”
Emphasizing that point, the judge pointed to “telling signs” of Trump’s “playbook”: “provocative and boastful rhetoric; a political narrative drawn from rallies; attacks on political opponents and the media; legal principles.” and disregard of precedents; and payments to attorneys for fundraising and political action committees.
“Thirty-one individuals and entities were needlessly harmed in order to dishonestly promote a political narrative,” Middlebrooks said. “A continuing pattern of abuse of the courts by Mr. Trump and his lawyers undermines the rule of law, portrays judges as biased, and diverts resources from those who have suffered real legal harm.”
Some legal experts said that although court penalties are not unusual in lawsuits considered “frivolous”, the attorney fees and costs charged by Middlebrook are extraordinary. Middlebrooks was appointed as a federal judge in 1997 after being nominated by then-President Bill Clinton.
His latest decision followed sanctions imposed on Trump’s lawyers in November by the sole plaintiff in the case, Charles Dolan, a former DNC chair and Clinton campaign insider seeking fees and costs. Habba and Trump’s other attorneys were ordered to pay a $50,000 fine to the court registry and $16,274.23 in fees to Dolan.
Habba, Trump’s chief counsel, did not respond to a request for comment on Friday. He is expected to appeal the judge’s decision on the sanctions, as he did with the decision of his dismissal, to the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.
Clinton’s defense attorney in Miami, David O. Marcus and David Kendall and Michael Mestitz of Williams & Connolly in Washington, DC, led the sanctions effort for attorneys’ fees and costs.
“As the court now recognizes, this lawsuit was from the beginning a political stunt that had no business in a court of law,” attorneys for the plaintiffs said in a statement to the Miami Herald on Friday. “It was a sham that wrongfully absorbed the court’s time and energy, better devoted to litigants with genuine claims, and caused the 31 defendants to expend money and effort to discredit bogus legal claims.”