On Thursday, a Florida judge imposed a penalty on former President Donald Trump and his attorney for filing a lawsuit that the judge deemed to be without merit or “frivolous” against Hillary Clinton and others.
The judge, U.S. District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks, accused Trump of a pattern of misuse of the courts by filing lawsuits for political gain, stating that it 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.
The judge noted Trump’s frequent legal actions against the Pulitzer Prize board, New York Attorney General Letitia James, major technology companies, and CNN, and characterized Trump as a frequent and experienced litigant who uses the legal system to seek retribution against political opponents.
“He is the mastermind of strategic abuse of the judicial process,” he wrote.
The court’s decision mandated that Trump and his attorney, Alina Habba, pay a sum of almost $938,000 to the defendants in the case. A representative for Trump and Habba did not immediately offer a response to requests for comment on Thursday evening.
In September, Middlebrooks dismissed the lawsuit that Trump had filed against Clinton, former top FBI officials, and the Democratic Party, rejecting Trump’s claims that they conspired to sabotage his successful presidential campaign by claiming ties to Russia.
The lawsuit had named Clinton, some of her top advisors, as well as former FBI Director James Comey, and other FBI officials, who were involved in investigating whether Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign had coordinated with Russia to influence the outcome of the election. Middlebrooks stated that the lawsuit had “glaring structural deficiencies” and that many of the “characterizations of events are implausible.”