On Thursday, a federal court in Florida slapped penalties on former President Donald J. Trump’s legal team for handling a massive case that alleged a widespread conspiracy against Trump by Hillary Clinton and other people Trump views as his foes.
The lawsuit was dismissed in September by Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks of the Southern District of Florida, who wrote a blistering 19-page order in which he accused Mr. Trump’s attorneys of exploiting the court system for partisan ends. He argued that all of the claims were baseless because they were contradicted by preexisting legal precedent.
In light of the judgment, a number of Trump’s attorneys have come under investigation for their ethics and behavior, notably for making misleading statements to the Justice Department and making unfounded challenges to the legality of the 2020 election.
Judge Middlebrooks, who was chosen by President Clinton, stated that Mr. Trump’s “political complaints masquerading as legal claims” were presented in the racketeering case. The courts, he said, “are not created for performative litigation for purposes of fund-raising and political pronouncements.”
Each of Trump’s attorneys—Alina Habba, Michael T. Madaio, Peter Ticktin, and Jamie Alan Sasson—must now fork out $50,000 to settle a case. Ms. Habba issued a statement saying that she will be appealing the ruling. In the meanwhile, none of the other attorneys have responded to our request for comment.
Charles Dolan, a Democratic public-relations consultant who was sued alongside Mr. Trump, was awarded reimbursement of nearly $16,000 in legal expenses he incurred as a defendant. The sanctions announced on Thursday might be an indication of things to come.
One of the defendants, Democratic public relations professional Charles Dolan, was also awarded reimbursement for his legal bills (about $16,000) by Mr. Trump’s legal team. It’s possible that Thursday’s punishments are a sign of things to come.
His attorneys have requested that Mr. Dolan be removed from the case, arguing that their client was unaware of the sex video story, did not collude with Mr. Danchenko to compile the dossier, and was never the DNC chairman. They said his involvement with the Clinton campaign didn’t extend beyond door-to-door canvassing.
However, Mr. Trump continued to argue. In response to Mr. Dolan’s request for penalties and Judge Middlebrooks’ dismissal of the complaint, the Trump team claimed that “virtually all” of the claims brought against him in the lawsuit originated from the Danchenko indictment.
Judge Middlebrooks ruled that this was “simply not so,” explaining that Trump had instead “cherry-picked elements which supported his story while disregarding others that weakened or contradicted it.”