A federal judge ordered former U.S. President Donald Trump and his attorneys to pay nearly $1 million in sanctions for suing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over claims the 2016 presidential election was rigged.
The judge said the case should have never been brought, and that Trump and his attorneys were liable for more than $937,000 in sanctions for the lawsuit brought against Clinton, ex-top Justice Department officials and several others.
Trump alleged they conspired against him to rig the 2016 campaign. Trump sued Clinton, who he ran against in the 2016 presidential election, claiming that she and other Democrats sought to rig that election by falsely accusing his campaign of links to Russia.
U.S. District Judge John Middlebrooks threw out Trump’s lawsuit against in September. He called it “a two-hundred-page political manifesto outlining his grievances against those that have opposed him.”
Middlebrooks said the sanctions bill is warranted because the former president had exhibited a pattern of misusing the courts to further his political agenda.
“This case should never have been brought. 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.”
Middlebrooks had previously granted the request for sanctions filed by one of the defendants in Trump’s lawsuit. That order – which demanded sanctions of more than $66,000 – has been paused while Trump’s attorneys appealed. The latest decision, which ordered $937,989 in sanctions, stems from a request by several other defendants, including Clinton.
“Frivolous lawsuits should not be used as a vehicle for fundraising or fodder for rallies or social media,” Middlebrooks wrote.
“Mr. Trump is using the courts as a stage set for political theater and grievance. This behavior interferes with the ability of the judiciary to perform its constitutional duty.”