A federal judge did not hold back in a ruling Thursday ordering former President Trump and one of his lawyers to pay almost $1 million to Hillary Clinton and dozens of others named in what the judge called a "completely frivolous" lawsuit that "should never have been filed." The suit filed in March last year accused Clinton and former FBI Director James Comey, among others, of conspiring to rig the 2016 election. "Its inadequacy as a legal claim was evident from the start,' US District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks wrote in his ruling, per the New York Times. "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.”
The judge blasted Trump and his lawyers over a "continuing pattern of misuse of the courts." Trump "is a prolific and sophisticated litigant who is repeatedly using the courts to seek revenge on political adversaries,” Middlebrooks wrote. "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." He described the Trump lawsuit, which he dismissed in September, as a "hodgepodge of disconnected, often immaterial events, followed by an implausible conclusion," Politico reports.
Middlebrooks ordered Trump and attorney Alina Habba to pay a total of around $938,000 to the 31 individuals and organizations named in the lawsuit, reports the AP. The largest award for legal fees, almost $172,000, went to Clinton. In an earlier ruling in the case, Trump's lawyers were penalized $50,000. (Read more Donald Trump stories.)