Judge Donald Middlebrooks dismisses Trump's lawsuit against Clinton

Cindy Ord/Getty Images Former president donald trump has the reputation of legal issues but a decision by a federal judge in Florida ...


Hillary Clinton pushes

Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Former president donald trump has the reputation of legal issuesbut a decision by a federal judge in Florida could be just the icing on the cake of clumsy anecdotes from Trump’s lawyer – and create new problems for a member of his legal team.

Trump and his companies have been entangled in so many lawsuits, sued for everything from the alleged sexual assault to the financial implosion of his Atlantic City casinos, that Wikipedia has an entire page titled “List of trials involving Donald Trump.”

The ex-president has lost more than 60 lawsuits just in his wavering attempts to contest the 2020 election; the only case in which he won a minor victory, he simply prevented the Pennsylvania Secretary of State from extending the resolution period for provisional ballots, an issue that only affects a small number of ballots that do not would never have changed the outcome. It is publicly struggled to assemble a top-notch legal team to defend him following the FBI’s search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, and the lawyers he managed to obtain missed many pleadings, leading to a strangely humiliating record with repeated instances of the court sending them instructions on how to handle basic federal forms.

As a fugitive lawyer myself, this decision of the judge Donald M. Middlebrooksbefore the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, was a seemingly endless parade of reading amusements – and more than a moment to shudder at the thought of my supervising partners’ reaction if I had ever received a such vicious reprimand in a written judicial notice.

The case in question was an absolutely insane and extravagant complaint filed in March 2022 against a long list of defendants including hillary clintonthe Democratic National Committee, former head of the CIA James Comeyformer FBI agents Pierre Strzok and Lisa Pageformer British intelligence officer Christopher Steelevarious other Democratic politicians and lawyers, making the dramatic allegation that “the defendants, blinded by political ambition, orchestrated a malicious conspiracy to disseminate patently false and damaging information about Donald J. Trump and his campaign, all in the hope of destroying his life, his political career and the rigging of the 2016 presidential election in favor of Hillary Clinton.

The sixteen counts of the 100-plus-page complaint included claims of breach of RICO, obstruction of justice, theft of trade secrets, conspiracy, wire fraud, and more. Note: One of the attorneys representing Trump in this case is Alina Habbawho is also involved in his response to the search for Mar-a-Lago.

In an order issued Thursday, Middlebrooks dismissed the entire case out of court, granting the defendants’ motions to dismiss with prejudice, meaning the case cannot be amended or refiled.

The judge repeatedly challenged Trump’s failure to correct key lawsuit flaws in an amended complaint his attorneys were allowed to file, even though they added about 100 more pages. From the third paragraph of his ruling, Middlebrooks eviscerates the entire case and even the lawyers’ writing prowess:

Plaintiff’s theory on this matter, set forth in 527 paragraphs in the first 118 pages of the Amended Complaint, is difficult to summarize concisely and coherently. It certainly wasn’t presented that way. Nevertheless, I will try to distill it here.

Middlebrooks then proceeded to brutally destroy Trump’s filing on a 65-page decision, noting that he agreed with the defendants’ argument that the complaint was nothing more than a “series of disputes disconnected politicians who [Trump] metamorphosed into a vast conspiracy among the many people plaintiff believes he harmed” and consisted of nothing more than “hopelessly outdated” claims that were barred by the applicable statutes of limitations or failed to meet the required legal elements.

Middlebrooks cited the defendants’ motion to dismiss – “Whatever the utilities of [the Amended Complaint] as a fundraising tool, press release, or list of political grievances, it has no merit as a lawsuit. — and added, “I agree.”

The opinion goes on to criticize the selection of such a long list of defendants (including dozens of unknown and fictitious entities) and “the audacity of the plaintiff’s legal theories and the manner in which they clearly contravene binding jurisprudence” .

The events alleged in Trump’s amended complaint, Middlebrooks wrote, were “implausible” and lacked “specific allegations that could provide factual support for the conclusions reached.”

“What the Amended Complaint lacks in substance and legal support, it seeks to replace with length, hyperbole and settling of accounts and grievances,” the judge added, calling the “293 footnotes of page” for failing to meet federal rules of civil procedure requiring references. be “presented in good faith and with supporting evidence”.

“Unfortunately, that’s not the case here.”

The Amended Complaint is “inadequate in nearly all aspect,” Middlebrooks concluded, writing that Trump’s attorneys had “failed to address any of the deficiencies” of the original complaint, and had instead “added eighty new pages of largely irrelevant allegations that have done nothing to save the legal sufficiency of [Trump’s] claims”:

The deficiencies in Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint are not “simply technical pleading issues”, as Plaintiff claims, but fatal substantive flaws that prevent Plaintiff from proceeding with any of the theories he has presented. At its core, the problem with Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint is that Plaintiff does not attempt to seek compensation for legal harm; instead, he seeks to post a two hundred page political manifesto setting out his grievances against those who have opposed him, and this Court is not the appropriate forum.

New York Times legal journalist charlie savage tweeted several sections of the opinion, noting that he “struggles to recall ever reading a judicial opinion that is more scathing than how the judge concluded his dismissal of Trump’s lawsuit,” and in comparing it to the “I give you no points, and God have mercy on your soul” scene from Billy Madisonthe Adam Sandler movie that became a popular meme responding to someone making a really silly comment.

The case may end up being more of a problem for Habba and his co-lawyer, Michael Madaio, Pierre Ticktin, James Alan Sassonand Shaina Vanmehren, than to simply invite mockery. like wild Notedthe judge indicated on page 6 of the judgment that he was open to a request for sanctions against the prosecutors for filing the case:

By presenting a pleading, a lawyer certifies that it is not presented for an improper purpose; that the claims are justified by law; and that factual assertions are supported by evidence. See Fed. A. Civil. P. 11. In filing the Amended Complaint, Plaintiff’s attorneys have certified to the Court that, to the best of their knowledge, “the claims, defenses and other legal arguments are justified by applicable law or by a non-frivolous argument to extend, amend, or reverse, existing law or to establish new law”, and that “the factual assertions are supported by evidence[.]Fed. R. Civ. P. 11(b)(2). I have serious doubts as to whether that standard is being met here.

To drive the point home even further, Middlebrooks added a final line just before his signature stating, “I reserve jurisdiction to adjudicate on matters relating to sanctions”, essentially throwing the whole matter out of court except for the question of imposing sanctions on Trump’s lawyers.

The judge doesn’t have to wait for Clinton or any of the other defendants to file a motion for sanctions; federal rules of civil procedure give the court the power to initiate such proceedings itself, which may result in the imposition of monetary penalties against these attorneys and their law firms.

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This is an opinion piece. The opinions expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author.



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