Former US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at the opening of the Vital Voices Women’s Embassy, just days after a leak revealed the possibility that the US Supreme Court could hear the landmark abortion-rights decision in May in Washington, US v. Wade might pick it up on 5, 2022.
Evelyn Hockstein Reuters
A federal judge dismissed former President Donald Trump’s sweeping lawsuit alleging that Hillary Clinton, the Democratic National Committee and many others conspired to spread a false narrative about collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential election.
In a sharp ruling Thursday, Judge Donald Middlebrooks said Trump’s lawsuit was merely “intended to display a two-hundred-page political manifesto setting out his grievances against those who opposed him.”
The former president’s claims “not only are not supported by any legal authority, but are clearly barred by binding precedent,” Middlebrooks wrote in the US District Court in South Florida.
Trump filed the lawsuit in March, seeking tens of millions in damages for violations of the RICO Act, a federal law aimed, among other things, at fighting organized crime. It came more than five years after Trump defeated Clinton in a vicious and scandal-ridden presidential campaign that focused on Trump’s relationship with Russia.
The lawsuit alleges the defendants worked to provide false or misleading evidence of damaging ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia. It names dozens of people and organizations as accused, including Clinton, the DNC, ex-Clinton adviser John Podesta, law firm Perkins Coie, research firm Fusion GPS, ex-Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook, and others.
Trump claimed he suffered at least $24 million in damages as a result of the defendants’ actions. His lawsuit was aimed at recovering three times the amount of the damage.
“Many of the characterizations of events in the amended complaint are implausible because they contain no specific allegations that could factually support the conclusions reached,” Middlebrooks wrote in Thursday’s order.
“What the amended complaint lacks in substance and legal support it seeks to make up for with length, hyperbole, and settlement of bills and complaints,” he wrote.
The judge agreed with the defendants’ characterization of Trump’s lawsuit as “a series of unrelated political disputes which the plaintiff has turned into a broad conspiracy among the many individuals whom the plaintiff believes have offended him.”
Trump’s legal team “will promptly appeal this decision,” his attorney Alina Habba said in a statement Friday morning. Middlebrooks’ order was “riddled with misapplication of the law” and ignored “numerous government investigations supporting Trump’s conspiracy claims,” Habbas’ statement added.
Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into interference in the 2016 Russian election concluded that the Kremlin interfered in the contest but found insufficient evidence to prove collusion with Trump’s campaign.
Trump has repeatedly called the Mueller investigation a witch hunt, one of many he claims have been launched against him since his foray into politics.