Trump “is seeking to publish a two-hundred-page political manifesto detailing his grievances against those who have opposed him, and this Court is not the proper forum,” Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks of the Southern District of Florida wrote in a scathing 65-page ruling issued Friday. The judge also wrote about “the boldness of Plaintiff’s legal theories and how they clearly violate the case law that constrains them.”
Middlebrooks noted “an apparent structural flaw in the plaintiff’s argument” and said that “such complaints waste the court’s resources and are an unacceptable means of establishing a claim for immunity.”
Trump’s case, filed in March, aimed to target Clinton and Democratic allies, including Christopher Steele, a former British spy employed by an opposition research firm working for the Clinton campaign who produced a high-profile report alleging ties between Trump and Russia. Trump’s lawsuit claimed he spent more than $24 million defending himself against the accusations and sought damages equal to three times that amount.
More than 22 organizations and individuals, including the Democratic National Committee, were named in the lawsuit, which came more than five years after Trump defeated Clinton to claim the presidency.
The lawsuit also alleged that the defendants had perjured themselves, deceived law enforcement officials and abused their access to sensitive data sources.
“What the Amended Complaint lacks in substance and legal support it seeks to make up for in length, hyperbole, and punctuation with the complaint,” Middlebrooks wrote.
The verdict was a victory Clinton, who in April asked a judge to dismiss the case, saying, “Whatever the utility of Plaintiff’s Complaint as a fundraising tool, press release, or political grievance list, it has no merit as a lawsuit, and it should.” abandoned by hatred.”
In doing so, Middlebrooks criticized the quality of the legal work provided by Trump’s lawyers.
“Many of the Amended Complaint’s characterizations of events are implausible because they lack any specific allegations that would provide factual support for the conclusions reached,” Middlebrooks wrote.
The judge cited the lawsuit’s allegations that former FBI director James B. Comey, senior officials at the agency and then-Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein “overly targeted” Trump and his campaign by appointing a special counsel to investigate the role. that. Russia participated in the 2016 elections.
Trump’s attorneys also submitted quotes to bolster their argument that were not true, the judge wrote. The lawsuit alleges Clinton and senior campaign officials understood and carried out a conspiracy against Trump and hid their involvement “behind a wall of third parties,” and cites a specific page of the report from the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General.
“I went to page 96 of the Inspector General’s Report looking for support for Plaintiff’s statement of objections and arguments but found none,” the judge wrote. Trump’s lawyers may disagree with the report, Middlebrooks wrote, “but they cannot misrepresent it in pleadings.”
Alina Habiba, Trump’s lawyer, said in a statement that her lawyers “strongly disagree” with the decision and that it is “full of abuse of the law.” They will appeal against the decision.
Despite Trump’s repeated claims that he was exonerated by former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III after a two-year investigation, Mueller in 2019 said only that his team. he had not made a decision on “conspiracy” and that it did not find enough evidence to charge any member of the Trump campaign with criminal conspiracy.
Several Trump associates pleaded guilty to charges related to the 2016 campaign and Russia, including federal conspiracy or lying to the FBI.
Et un 2020 Report of the Senate Intelligence Committee it portrayed Trump’s 2016 campaign as a counter-intelligence risk through his critical contacts with Russia and appears determined to conceal the full extent of his conduct.
The Trump case also highlights the work of Michael Sussmann, who worked on behalf of the Clinton campaign and who wanted to get the FBI to investigate possible computer connections between the Trump Organization’s server and a Russian financial institution known as Alfa Bank.
But the trial failed to recognize that Sussmann had been wrongfully acquitted in a separate trial, Middlebrooks wrote. In filing their case, Middlebrooks said, Trump’s lawyers “certified to the court” that to their knowledge their arguments were legal and not frivolous. “I have serious doubts as to whether that standard is met here,” the judge wrote.
As for Steele, Middlebrooks wrote that despite numerous references to him in the Trump case, “no one is attributing any false information about Plaintiff to him.”
Later, the judge responded to what he said was the case’s broadest attempt to criminalize criticism of Trump, writing: “It is not the Plaintiff’s political opposition to, dislike of the Plaintiff, or engaging in political speech about the Plaintiff that dubs him negatively that is illegal.”
Middlebrooks also highlighted the difference between being at odds with Trump and harming him: “The opposing Plaintiff’s presidential campaign is disproportionate to the loss suffered. Statements to law enforcement or comments made in a political campaign are not intended to persuade others not to do business with the Plaintiff or his business, or cause direct or immediate financial loss.”
“Furthermore,” he later added, “many of the statements that Plaintiff cites as prejudicial falsehoods qualify as speech expressly protected by the First Amendment.”