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Florida Judge Fines ‘Serial Abuser’ Trump Almost $1M For Clinton Lawsuit

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Donald Trump

A federal judge in Florida has fined Donald Trump and his legal team nearly $1m for abusing the court system “to advance the former president’s political agenda” by filing “frivolous” lawsuits against former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton and others, The New York Times reports.

Trump filed a lawsuit against Clinton, former FBI director James Comey and dozens of other officials, alleging that they tried to rig the 2016 election by falsely accusing his campaign of links to Russia.

“This case should never have been brought,” wrote Judge Donald M Middlebrooks of the Southern District of Florida in his order. “Its inadequacy as a legal claim was evident from the start.”

Judge Middlebrooks said the sanctions were warranted because the former president had exhibited a “pattern” of abusing the courts for his political agenda, according to The 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 said.

“A continuing pattern of misuse of the courts by Mr. Trump and his lawyers undermines the rule of law, portrays judges as partisans, and diverts resources from those who have suffered actual legal harm.”

Middlebrooks said Trump was a “prolific and sophisticated litigant who is repeatedly using 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.”

The judge ruled that Trump and his lawyer Alina Habba would be jointly liable for $937,989 in sanctions.

“The amount of fees awarded in this case, while reasonable, is substantial,” judge Middlebrooks wrote in his ruling.