A federal judge said Thursday that former President Donald Trump and his lawyers are liable for nearly $1 million in penalties for a lawsuit brought by Trump against Hillary Clinton, a former top Justice Department official and several others. that they conspire against him in the 2016 competition.
“This case should never have been brought up. Its incompetence as a legal claim was known from the outset,” wrote U.S. District Judge Donald Middlebrooks of the Southern District of Florida. “There is no proper lawyer to file. It was intended for a political, no-punishment of the amended complaint that stated a cognizable legal claim.”
Middlebrooks was there the motion for sanctions was initially granted filed by one of the defendants in Trump’s lawsuit. That order — which calls for fines of more than $66,000 — has been put on hold while Trump’s attorney appeals. The latest ruling, which ordered $937,989 in penalties, stemmed from a petition by other defendants, including Clinton.
“I find the pleadings here to be an abuse of court,” the judge wrote in the latest order. “The Surfing and Surfing Reform was written to promote a political story; not to remedy the legal harm caused by any Defendant.”
The judge pointed out to Trump “the way of misusing the courts for political purposes” as he reviewed several other convictions made by Trump in recent years.
“Competitive lawsuits should not be used as a vehicle for fundraising or fodder for advertising or social media,” wrote Middlebrooks.
“Mr. Trump uses the trial as a model for political theory and criticism. This behavior interferes with the ability of the judiciary to perform its constitutional duties.”