(Reuters) – A federal judge on Thursday ordered former U.S. President Donald Trump and his lawyers to pay more than $937,000 in sanctions after they sued former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over claims the 2016 presidential election was rigged.
U.S. District Judge John Middlebrooks dismissed Trump’s lawsuit in September, saying the sanctions were necessary because the former president had demonstrated a pattern of abusing the courts to advance his political agenda.
“This case should never have been brought. Its inadequacy as a legal claim was evident from the outset. No reasonable lawyer would ever bring it. For political purposes, no
10 percent of the counts in the amended complaint state identifiable legal claims,” Middlebrooks wrote in his 45-page written ruling.
Representatives for Trump and his lead lawyer in the case, Alina Haba, could not be reached for comment by Reuters on Thursday evening.
Trump is suing 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Bill Clinton, claiming she and other Democrats tried to rig the election by falsely accusing his campaign of ties to Russia.
Middlebrooks, who was appointed to the bench by President Bill Clinton in 1997, dismissed the case in September, saying the lawsuit was “a 200-page political manifesto outlining his grievances with those who opposed him. “
Trump, a Republican seeking re-election in 2020 but defeated by Democrat Joe Biden, has since made repeated false claims blaming his defeat on widespread vote-rigging.
He has launched his campaign for the 2024 presidential election, setting the stage for a potential rematch with Biden.
(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
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