Judge fines Trump and his lawyer Alina Habba for frivolous lawsuit

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    A Florida Judge sanctioned former President Donald Trump and one of his attorneys Thursday, ordering them to pay nearly $1 million for filing what he said was a bogus lawsuit against Trump’s 2016 rival Hillary Clinton and others.

    In a blistering filing, U.S. District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks accused Trump of a “pattern of abuse of the courts” for filing frivolous lawsuits for political purposes, which he said “undermines the rule of law” and “amounts to obstruction of justice.”

    “Here, we are confronted with a lawsuit that should never have been filed, which was completely frivolous, both factually and legally, and which was brought in bad faith for an improper purpose,” he wrote.

    Citing Trump’s recent legal action against the Pulitzer Prize board, New York Attorney General Letitia James, big tech companies and CNN, he described Trump as “a prolific and sophisticated litigant” who uses the courts “to seek revenge on political adversaries.”

    “He is the mastermind of strategic abuse of the judicial process,” he wrote.

    The ruling required Trump and his attorney, Alina Habba, to pay nearly $938,000 to the defendants in the case.


    Unless they start sanctioning the Democrats who also file politically motivated, and frivolous (which is legalese for for without even an arguable basis in law and facts), it will just make everyone mad at each other. The fact that the judge is a Democrat will encourage the feeling of madness.

    It isn’t clear that for people to conspire to defeat their political enemies is illegal or actionable (something you can sue over), and it is allowed to bring a novel theory without being fined for being frivolous. Accusing people who appear to being working for a common goal is not clearly a non-conspiracy. The essence of Trump’s claim were for defamation, and he apparently never argued that the people he was suing knew for a fact that their allegations were false (which is an element you need to prove in a defamation claim).

    I would predict the judge will lose on appeal, since the courts are overly disinclined to make it easy to claim that law suits involving politicians are frivolous.


    Akuperma raises some good points but for the fact that Trump’s inevitable appeal will be heard by the 11th circuit. While generally one of the most conservative circuits, they have not always been friendly to Trump and also have sustained sanctions imposed by the district courts for frivolous lawsuits. Trump has long complained about the burdens of proving defamation in the American court system (as compared to the UK) but he himself has been totally disparaging of the defamation lawsuit brought against him by an alleged rape victim. That case is especially bizarre because the Garland DOJ is SUPPORTING Trump’s effort to dismiss the case baed on the theory that his disparaging (aka defamatory) comments about the plaintiff were made in the course of his “official duties” as President.


    The judge cannot lose on appeal.
    The judge will not be a party to the action.
    The appeal, if filed, will be DJT and Habba v. USA seeking the fine be dismissed.

    Please stop posting inaccurate legal observations and stick to your field of expertise.



    Thank you for the clarification.
    The fines were assessed by the Judge not because of the original frivolous lawsuit which Democrats are also guilty of filing.

    They were assessed because the lawsuit was pursued by Trump and Habba even after it was dismissed. That is real Chutzpah and mal-practice.

    Trump does not have any Grade A attorneys anymore.
    He can only hire novice attorneys who know very little about what they are doing but look good on Fox news.
    These low grade attorneys agree to represent him because they are publicity hounds and believe that any publicity is worth it for them.


    “Trump does not have any Grade A attorneys anymore…”

    Well sort of. Trump actually hired Chris Kise, Florida’s former SG and a well respected litigator to represent him in the criminal investigation related to the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago but I am skeptical someone of Kise’s stature would want to take on the appellate work related to this clown-show.

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