A US federal judge Thursday ordered former president Donald Trump and his lead attorney Alina Habba to pay more than $937,000 in sanctions over a suit brought against Hillary Clinton in March 2022.
Judge Donald Middlebrooks of the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida issued the sanctions on the basis that Trump’s suit against Clinton was legally inadequate and intended for political purposes.
Clinton and 18 other defendants asked Middlebrooks to sanction Trump over a violation of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11, which prohibits filing for improper purposes and provides procedures for issuing sanctions.
Middlebrooks asserted that Trump and Habba confronted the court with a lawsuit that should have never been filed and was “completely frivolous, both factually and legally, and which was brought in bad faith for an improper purpose.” He also added that Trump repeatedly uses the courts to seek revenge on his political opponents and used abusive litigation tactics, including shotgun pleadings in the case against Clinton.
The judge also said Trump and his attorneys used three types of shotgun pleadings to set forth a flurry of disorganized and vague complaints without specifying which complaints were aimed at which defendants.
Middlebrooks also said that Trump and Habba misrepresented and cherry-picked information to support a false narrative, a pattern that occurred too often to be accidental and was powered by a political agenda.
Middlebrooks previously dismissed Trump’s suit in September and sanctioned Trump’s attorneys in November for knowingly misconstruing facts against defendants.