Nov 10, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Judge hits Trump lawyers with $50,000 fines over tossed Clinton lawsuit

This combination of file photos shows Hillary Clinton(L)  and Donald Trump in 2016.

Combination images of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

A federal judge in Florida issued monetary sanctions against former President Trump's attorneys as he admonished them for what he called their "frivolous" failed lawsuit against Hillary Clinton and other Democrats.

Driving the news: U.S. District Court Judge Donald Middlebrooks denounced what he called the Trump lawyers' "cavalier attitude towards facts demonstrated throughout the case" and ordered that they and their firms pay $50,000 in penalties to the court.

  • Middlebrooks also said the attorneys, led by Peter Ticktin and Alina Habba, must pay $16,274.23 in legal fees to Charles Dolan, one of those named as defendants in the dismissed lawsuit, which Trump is appealing.
  • Dolan had initiated the sanctions proceedings against the pair and fellow Trump attorneys Michael Madaio and Jamie Alan Sasson.

What they're saying: "These were political grievances masquerading as legal claims," said Middlebrooks, who was appointed by former President Clinton of the Trump lawsuit he dismissed in September.

  • "This cannot be attributed to incompetent lawyering. It was a deliberate use of the judicial system to pursue a political agenda."
  • Middlebrooks called their lawsuit a "two-hundred page political manifesto" that "contained factual allegations that were either knowingly false or made in reckless disregard for the truth."

What we're watching: Habba told the New York Times she intended to appeal the judge's decision.

  • The attorneys could not immediately be reached for comment.
Go deeper