Judge fines Trump lawyers in Clinton case thrown out in September



A federal judge on Thursday fined lawyers for former President Donald Trump more than $66,000 and admonished them for making frivolous and baseless claims in Trump’s defamation lawsuit against Hillary Clinton and her allies, as a result of the 2016 presidential election.

The fines imposed by Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks, a President Bill Clinton appointee in the Southern District of Florida, include a $50,000 penalty to the court and an additional $16,274.23 payment to one of the 29 defendants in the case, Charles Dolan, for expenses he incurred. incurred as a result of the lawsuit, which the judge dismissed in September.

The libel suit accused 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her allies of harming Trump with an orchestrated plan to spread false information that his campaign was colluding with Russia. Middlebrooks, in dismissing the lawsuit in September, had written that there were “glaring structural flaws in the prosecution’s argument.”

Two of the Trump lawyers – Alina Habba and Peter Ticktin – said they would appeal.

“We have tried to correct a mistake, and our reward is a kick in the teeth,” Ticktin said in an email. “Ultimately, this will be decided by a panel of three judges on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, as we believe the dismissal and the sanctions that followed will eventually be reversed.”

The other attorneys, Michael T. Madaio and Jamie Alan Sasson, did not immediately respond to emails from The Post.

The fines are the latest legal setback for Trump. Federal officials are investigating him for taking sensitive government documents after leaving the White House, and officials in Manhattan are investigating the financial records of his sprawling real estate company. Last month, in a separate case, a federal judge said Trump signed legal documents he knew contained fake voter fraud numbers

The fines also come as Republicans and conservative media have openly blamed Trump for the Republicans’ underperforming in Tuesday’s midterm elections, which Trump had hoped would show his electoral clout ahead of an expected announcement next week that he would run for president in 2024.

In the lawsuit, Trump’s attorneys inaccurately described Dolan in court documents as a former Democratic National Committee chairman, a senior official in the Clinton campaign, and a close associate and adviser to Clinton. Trump’s lawsuit also accused Dolan, a public relations executive, of helping create a “file” of false information intended to defame Trump.

In response, a lawyer for Dolan demanded that his client be removed from the lawsuit, noting in court documents that Dolan had not participated in the drafting of the case, had never chaired the DNC, and said his role in the campaign was, as Middlebrooks wrote, “limited to knocking on doors as a volunteer.”

Clinton, through a spokesperson, denied even knowing him, Middlebrooks wrote.

Trump’s lawyers subsequently modified their complaint but did not materially change their claims about Dolan, the judge wrote. The amended complaint referred to Dolan as a former chairman of a “national democratic political organization” and a “senior Clinton campaign official,” Middlebrooks wrote. Criticism of this amended complaint was “regardless,” the judge wrote.

In imposing the fines on Trump’s lawyers, Middlebrooks cited Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure which, the judge wrote, is intended to “deter attorneys and litigants from clogged federal courts with frivolous files.”

Middlebrooks wrote that penalties under that rule are necessary when a party makes a plea “that has no reasonable factual basis,” “is based on a legal theory that has no reasonable chance of success,” or when a plea is made “too bad faith”. .”

“Here all three are true,” Middlebrooks wrote. He later added, “The pleas in this case contain factual allegations that were either knowingly false or made in reckless disregard for the truth.”

As an example, Middlebrooks highlighted a detail presented by Trump’s attorneys that stated that Dolan was a Florida resident. Dolan’s attorney noted that his client was a Virginia resident and did not do any campaign work in Florida.

Trump’s attorneys reacted, bizarrely, to the amended complaint that Dolan was a resident of New York and that “Charles Dolan is an incredibly common name, and the plaintiff’s attorney’s traditional search methods have found countless individuals with that name in the United States.” nationwide, many of whom live in New York.”

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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