A Florida The judge sanctioned former President Donald Trump and one of his lawyers on Thursday, ordering them to pay nearly $1 million for filing what he said was a bogus lawsuit against Trump’s 2016 opponent Hillary Clinton and others.
In a blistering statement, U.S. District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks accused Trump of a “scheme of abuse of the courts” for filing frivolous lawsuits for political purposes, which he said “undermines the rule of law” and “equally obstructs justice.” »
“Here we are faced with a lawsuit that should never have been filed, that was completely frivolous, both factually and legally, and that was brought in bad faith for improper purposes,” he wrote.
Referring to Trump’s recent lawsuit against the Pulitzer Prize, New York Attorney General Letitia Jamesof major tech companies and CNN, he described Trump as a “prolific and sophisticated litigator” who uses the courts “to exact revenge on political opponents.”
“He is the mastermind behind the strategic abuse of the judicial process,” he wrote.
The decision ordered Trump and his lawyer, Alina Hubb, to pay nearly $938,000 to the defendants in the case.
Spokespeople for Trump and Huba did not immediately respond to requests for comment late Thursday night.
Middlebrooks in September dismissed a lawsuit Trump filed against Clinton, former top FBI officials and the Democratic Party, rejecting the former president’s claims that they and others conspired to sink his presidential victory by alleging ties to Russia.
The lawsuit named as defendants Clinton and some of her top advisers, as well as former FBI Director James Comey and other FBI officials involved in the investigation into whether Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign coordinated with Russia to influence the election.
At the time, he said the lawsuit contained “egregious structural flaws” and that many of the “characteristics of events are implausible.”