Judge dismisses Trump’s lawsuit against Hillary Clinton over 2016 election

A federal judge in Florida has dismissed Donald Trump’s lawsuit against former President Hillary Clinton, saying there is no basis for allegations that former President Clinton and her allies colluded with Russia to spread disinformation to harm her campaign. During the 2016 presidential race.

Trump is “seeking to release a two-hundred-page political manifesto outlining his grievances against his opponents, and this court is not the appropriate forum,” said Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks wrote in a grim 65. – Judgment page dated Thursday. The judge also wrote of “the boldness of plaintiff’s legal theories and the manner in which they clearly violate the statute of limitations.”

Middlebrooks noted “obvious structural flaws in plaintiff’s argument” and said “such pleadings are a waste of judicial resources and an unacceptable form of establishing a claim for relief.”

The Trump case, filed in March, targeted Clinton and a group of Democratic allies, including former British spy Christopher Steele, who was hired by an opposition research firm working for the Clinton campaign and who compiled the now-infamous dossier alleging ties between Trump and Russia. Trump’s suit said he spent more than $24 million defending himself against the allegations and sought damages three times that amount.

More than two dozen organizations and individuals were named in the lawsuit, including the Democratic National Committee, which claimed the presidency more than five years after Trump defeated Clinton.

The suit alleged that the defendants falsified evidence, deceived law enforcement officials and took advantage of access to highly sensitive data sources.

“The amended complaint lacks substance and legal support, is lengthy, overstated and seeks to amend with marks and grievances,” Middlebrooks wrote.

Judgment a success Clinton, who asked the judge in April to dismiss the case, said, “Whether the plaintiff’s complaint is a fundraising tool, a press release or a list of political grievances, it has no standing. will be rejected with prejudice.”

In doing so, Middlebrooks criticized the quality of legal work provided by Trump’s lawyers.

“Many of the characterizations of events in the amended complaint are unpersuasive because they lack any specific allegations that could provide factual support for the conclusions reached,” Middlebrooks wrote.

Former FBI Director James P. Comey, senior agency officials and then-Deputy Attorney General Rod J. The judge cited as an example the suit’s claim that Rosenstein had “overzealously targeted” Trump and his campaign by appointing a special counsel and a special prosecutor to investigate the role. Russia played in the 2016 election.

Trump’s lawyers presented quotes to bolster their case, which the judge wrote were simply not true. The lawsuit alleges that Clinton and top campaign officials conceived and executed a conspiracy against Trump and hid their involvement “behind a wall of third parties.”

“I turned to page 96 of the Inspector General’s report looking for support for plaintiff’s conclusion and statement of arguments, but found none,” the judge wrote. Trump’s attorneys disagreed with the statement, Middlebrooks wrote, “but they can’t mischaracterize it as a plea.”

Trump’s lawyer, Alina Habiba, said in a statement that her lawyers “vehemently disagree” with the ruling, saying it was “fraught with misapplications of the law.” Habiba said that she will appeal against the verdict.

After a two-year investigation, former special counsel Robert S. Although Trump has repeatedly said he was exonerated by Mueller III, in 2019 Mueller told only his team. No decision was taken There is insufficient evidence to charge any member of the “collusion” and Trump’s campaign with criminal conspiracy.

Several Trump associates have pleaded guilty to charges related to the 2016 campaign and Russia, including federal conspiracy or lying to the FBI.

and A 2020 Report of the Senate Intelligence Committee Trump’s 2016 campaign portrayed himself as posing counterintelligence risks through significant contacts with Russia and a commitment to concealing the full extent of its behavior.

Trump’s case also focuses on the work of Michael Sussman, who worked on behalf of the Clinton campaign and tried to get the FBI to investigate possible computer links between the Trump Organization’s server and a Russian financial institution called Alfa Bank.

But the lawsuit failed to mention that Sussman was acquitted of wrongdoing in a separate case, Middlebrooks wrote. In filing their lawsuit, Middlebrooks said Trump’s attorneys “certified in court” that to the best of their knowledge their arguments were legally sound and not frivolous. “I have serious doubts that that standard is met here,” the judge wrote.

As for Steele, Middlebrooks wrote that despite several references to him in Trump’s lawsuit, “he did not specifically attribute any false statements to the plaintiff.”

Later, the judge took up what he said was the case’s serious attempt to criminalize criticism of Trump: “It is illegal to oppose the plaintiff politically, dislike the plaintiff, or engage in political speech in a negative light about the plaintiff. “

Middlebrooks also highlighted the difference between antagonizing Trump and harming him: “Antagonizing the plaintiff’s presidential campaign does not result in a monetary loss. Statements to law enforcement or comments made in a political campaign are not intended to induce others not to associate with the plaintiff or his business or to cause direct or imminent financial loss.

“Furthermore, many of the statements that plaintiff characterizes as harmful falsehoods qualify as speech clearly protected by the First Amendment,” he later added.

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