September 12, 2022
A federal judge in Florida has dismissed a sprawling lawsuit filed by former President Donald Trump earlier this year—calling the former president’s complaint a “political manifesto” rather than a viable lawsuit, reports The Wall Street Journal.
The suit had alleged that Hillary Clinton and other prominent Democrats illegally linked Trump to Russia.
In a written order issued late on Thursday, September 8, U.S. District Judge Donald Middlebrooks in West Palm Beach, Florida, said Trump’s various legal theories in the case, including racketeering and conspiracy, “are not only unsupported by any legal authority but plainly foreclosed by binding precedent.”
“Mr. Trump “is not attempting to seek redress for any legal harm; instead, he is seeking to flaunt a two-hundred-page political manifesto outlining his grievances against those that have opposed him, and this Court is not the appropriate forum,” Judge Middlebrooks wrote.
Alina Habba, a lawyer for Trump, said the former president’s team would immediately appeal the decision.
“We vehemently disagree with the opinion issued by the Court today. Not only is it rife with erroneous applications of the law; it disregards the numerous independent governmental investigations which substantiate our claim that the defendants conspired to falsely implicate our client and undermine the 2016 Presidential election,” she said in a statement.
Trump’s lawsuit, originally filed in March, alleged that Democrats tried to rig the 2016 presidential election by accusing him of colluding with Russia. The lawsuit sought compensatory and punitive damages of at least $24 million, asserting that Trump was “forced to incur expenses” including “defense costs, legal fees, and related expenses.”
The defendants in Trump’s lawsuit included former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former FBI Director James Comey, Representative Adam Schiff (D-California), and former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, the author dossier leaked in early 2017 claiming that then-President-elect Trump had conspired with Russia to steer the U.S. election.
“In the run-up to the 2016 Presidential Election, Hillary Clinton and her cohorts orchestrated an unthinkable plot—one that shocks the conscience and is an affront to this nation’s democracy,” the complaint says. “Acting in concert, the Defendants maliciously conspired to weave a false narrative that their Republican opponent, Donald J. Trump, was colluding with a hostile foreign sovereignty.”
Clinton’s lawyers called the lawsuit a fundraising ploy.
“Whatever the utility of Plaintiff’s Complaint as a fundraising tool, a press release, or a list of political grievances, it has no merit as a lawsuit, and should be dismissed with prejudice,” Clinton’s lawyers said in a May court filing.
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation found repeated contacts between Russia-linked entities and Trump campaign officials before the election, but did not establish that anyone affiliated with his campaign knowingly conspired with Russian efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential campaign.
Research contact: @WSJ