The Washington Times reports that former President Donald Trump and his legal team have just been hit with a legal fine that amounts to almost $1 million.
The fine was issued on Thursday by Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, an appointee of former President Bill Clinton.
Middlebrooks issued the $938,000 fine as a punishment for the lawsuit that Trump and his legal team filed against Hillary Clinton.
Trump’s lawsuit stemmed from the Russia Collusion Hoax, the false narrative pushed by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, the Democratic National Committee (DNA), and others – with the apparent help of U.S. government agencies – claiming that Trump was colluding with the Russians in order to win the U.S. presidency in 2016.
In the lawsuit, Trump accused Clinton, the DNC, and others of defaming him with this false Russian collusion narrative, and Trump, as a remedy, sought $70 million in damages.
Middlebrooks, however, dismissed the lawsuit in September 2022.
Middlebrooks, in fact, didn’t just dismiss the lawsuit – he dismissed it “with prejudice,” preventing Trump from being able to bring the lawsuit again in the future.
Middlebrooks argued that Trump’s lawsuit amounted to a “two-hundred-page political manifesto outlining his grievances against those that have opposed him.” Accordingly, Middlebrooks said that his court “is not the appropriate forum.”
In response, several of the defendants named in the lawsuit – including Clinton – asked Middlebrooks to sanction Trump. And, this is what Middlebrooks has now done.
In his latest order, Middlebrooks, once again, targets Trump with heavy criticism. Middlebrooks writes:
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.
Middlebrooks goes on to write that Trump “is the mastermind of strategic abuse of the judicial process,” adding that Trump “knew full well the impact of his actions.”
Accordingly, Middlebrooks writes, “I find that sanctions should be imposed upon Mr. Trump and his lead counsel, Ms. [Alina] Habba.”
No statement from Trump
Thus far, outlets are reporting that neither Trump nor his legal team has released a statement responding to Middlebrooks’s decision.
The Washington Times reports that Middlebrooks had already sanctioned Trump’s legal team – $50,000 each plus lawyers’ fees – in November. And, according to ABC News, Middlebrooks warned Trump that he could face more sanctions for the separate lawsuit that Trump has filed against New York Attorney General Letitia James (D).