Former President Donald Trump arrives at his Mar-a-Lago home on Dec. 31, 2022.
Joe Raedle | Getty Images
A federal judge on Thursday imposed nearly $1 million in sanctions on former President Donald Trump and his lawyer for filing a “frivolous” lawsuit against Hillary Clinton and others that claimed they tried to rig the 2016 presidential election in Clinton’s favor.
“This case should never have been brought,” wrote Judge John Middlbrooks in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in his order sanctioning Trump for the suit, which the judge previously dismissed.
“Its inadequacy as a legal claim was evident from the start,” Middlebrooks wrote.
“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.”
Under the order, Trump and his lead lawyer in the case, Alina Habba, are jointly and severally liable for the total amount of sanctions the judge imposed: $937,989.39.
“The amount of fees awarded in this case, while reasonable, is substantial,” Middlebrooks wrote.
Middlebrooks in September had dismissed the case against Clinton and all other defendants besides the United States government “with prejudice,” which bars Trump from refiling the lawsuit.
In his order Thursday, the judge noted that Trump’s suit had “fatal substantive defects,” and that its factual allegations were undermined and contradicted by the public reports and filings upon which it purported to rely.”
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