Seth Wenig/AP, left; Andrew Harnik/AP, center; Mary Altaffer/AP, right.
- On Thursday, a judge fined Trump $1 million over his “frivolous” lawsuit against Hillary Clinton.
- Friday, Trump dropped another lawsuit before the same judge, this one against NY AG Letitia James.
- US District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks had said both cases were filed in ‘bad faith.’
A day after a federal judge in Florida hit Donald Trump with a $1 million fine for filing a “frivolous” lawsuit against Hillary Clinton, the former president dropped another key lawsuit before the same judge, this one targeting New York Attorney General Letitia James.
Trump’s lawyers gave no reason for withdrawing his November suit against James, which had sought dismissal of her $250 million fraud lawsuit against his New York-based real-estate empire, the Trump Organization.
But US District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks on Thursday had made it clear he has had enough of Trump’s lawsuits in general. He wrote that like the Clinton suit, the James suit “had all the telltale signs of being both vexatious and frivolous.”
A lawyer representing Trump in his suit against James did not immediately return a request for comment. The New York attorney general’s office also did not comment.
Middlebrooks had dismissed Trump’s lawsuit against Clinton, the Democratic National Committee, and some 30 other perceived political enemies back in September, ruling that Trump’s claims that they were all part of a “malicious conspiracy” against him were meritless.
On Thursday, Middlebrooks went further, issuing a scathing rebuke of Trump’s legal tactics along with fining Trump and his lawyers for bringing the case.
“A continuing pattern of misuse of the courts by Mr. Trump and his lawyers undermines the rule of law, portrays judges as partisans, and diverts resources from those who have suffered actual legal harm,” the judge wrote.
Trump and Alina Habba, his lead attorney in the Clinton case, are liable for $937,989.39 in legal sanctions. Clinton’s share of those legal fees will be $171,631.
James’ case, which seeks to bar Trump and his family from doing business in the state, now remains on track for an October trial in Manhattan.
In that case, too, a New York state judge recently threatened money sanctions in response to what he called Trump’s pattern of “borderline frivolous” litigation.
That judge ultimately decided not to fine Trump, saying in a nine-page, January 6 decision that in denying Trump’s motion to dismiss the James lawsuit, the court has “made its point.”