A federal judge has fined former President Donald Trump and his lawyers nearly $1 million in a “baseless” lawsuit alleging Hillary Clinton attempted to rig the 2016 election. District Court Judge John Middlebrooks said Trump, a Republican who plans to return to the White House in 2024, has shown a “persistent pattern of courtroom abuse” and “political.”
Trump sued Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, claiming that she and other Democrats sought to rig that election by falsely accusing his campaign of links to Russia. Clinton lost to Trump. Middlebrooks, appointed to the bench by President Bill Clinton in 1997, dismissed the case in September, calling the lawsuit “a two-hundred-page political manifesto outlining his grievances against those that have opposed him”. Trump had sought $70m in damages.
The pair are jointly and severally liable for the total amount imposed by Middlebrooks to cover the defendants’ legal fees and costs: $937,989.39. Middlebrooks wrote that Trump is “a prolific and sophisticated litigant who repeatedly uses the courts to seek revenge on political adversaries. “He is the mastermind of strategic abuse of the judicial process, and he cannot be seen as a litigant blindly following the advice of a lawyer. He knew full well the impact of his actions.”
Republican Trump sought re-election in 2020 but lost to Democrat Joe Biden, repeatedly making false allegations and blaming widespread voter fraud for his loss. He has launched his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election, preparing for a possible rematch with Biden.