In the midst of Donald Trump’s myriad of legal issues, on Thursday, a judge dismissed the former President’s racketeering lawsuit against former First Lady/Senator/Secretary of State/Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton and hinted that his legal team may be penalized for even bringing the case.
District Court Judge Donald Middlebrooks filed a nearly 200-page ruling that found the allegations were “neither short nor plain,” and found many of the claims ridiculous and unfounded.
Middlebrooks said in his ruling:
“Many of the Amended Complaint’s characterizations of events are implausible because they lack any specific allegations which might provide factual support for the conclusions reached. For instance, the contention that former FBI director James Comey, senior FBI officials, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein ‘overzealously targeted’ Plaintiff and conspired to harm him through appointment of special counsel are strikingly similar to the conclusory and formulaic allegations found deficient in the seminal Supreme Court case of Ashcroft v. Iqbal.”
“What the Amended Complaint lacks in substance and legal support it seeks to substitute with length, hyperbole, and the settling of scores and grievances. Plaintiff has annotated the Amended Complaint with 293 footnotes containing references to various public reports and findings. He is not required to annotate his Complaint; in fact, it is inconsistent with Rule 8’s requirement of a short and plain statement of the claim. But if a party chooses to include such references, it is expected that they be presented in good faith and with evidentiary support. Unfortunately, that is not the case here.”
Middlebrooks added that the evidence did not show any reason why the former President is entitled to any of the relief he sought, and cited a federal rule authorizing sanctions against attorneys for filing claims that are not supported by evidence or existing law:
“In presenting a pleading, an attorney certifies that it is not being presented for any improper purpose; that the claims are warranted under the law; and that the factual contentions have evidentiary support.”
“By filing the Amended Complaint, Plaintiff’s lawyers certified to the Court that, to the best of their knowledge, ‘the claims, defenses, and other legal contentions are warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument for extending, modifying, or reversing existing law or for establishing new law,’ and that ‘the factual contentions have evidentiary support. I have serious doubts about whether that standard is met here.”
Trump lawyers Alina Habba and Peter Ticktin tried, albeit unsuccessfully to get the case before a different judge, District Court Judge Aileen Cannon instead of Middlebrooks.
“Plaintiff is not attempting to seek redress for any legal harm. He is seeking to flaunt a 200-page political manifesto outlining his grievances against those that have opposed him, and this Court is not the appropriate forum.”