A Florida judge on Thursday ordered former President Donald Trump and his lawyer to pay nearly $1 million in sanctions to cover the legal costs for Hillary Clinton and dozens of other defendants involved in one of the ex-commander in chief’s failed lawsuits.
“This case should never have been brought. Its inadequacy as a legal claim was evident from the start,” US District Judge Donald Middlebrooks wrote in his scathing 46-page order.
“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 said.
“Thirty-one individuals and entities were needlessly harmed in order to dishonestly advance a political narrative. A continuing pattern of misuse of the courts by Mr. Trump and his lawyers undermines the rule of law, portrays judges as partisans, and diverts resources from those who have suffered actual legal harm.”
The 76-year-old former president and his lawyer, Alina Habba, filed suit against Clinton and dozens of former Justice Department and FBI officials alleging a conspiracy to target Trump for criminal prosecution.
Trump claimed in the suit that the former secretary of state and New York senator, in coordination with the Justice Department, tried to undermine the 2016 presidential election.
The case was dismissed last year.
Judge Middlebrooks found Trump and Habba jointly and severally liable for $937,989.39 in legal fees.
Under Thursday’s sanctions order, Clinton will receive the largest payout from Trump and Habba of all the defendants, nearly $172,000.
“The Amended Complaint is a hodgepodge of disconnected, often immaterial events, followed by an implausible conclusion. This is a deliberate attempt to harass; to tell a story without regard to facts,” Middlebrooks, who was an appointee of former president Bill Clinton, wrote in his order.