US judge fines Trump over 'frivolous' Clinton lawsuit

A federal judge ordered former US President Donald Trump and his lawyers to pay nearly $1 million (€0.92 million) Thursday for suing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

over claims she tried to rig the 2016 presidential election. In a fiercely critical filing, US District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks accused Trump of a "pattern of abuse

of the courts." By filing "frivolous" lawsuits, Trump "undermines the rule of law" in a way that "amounts to obstruction of justice." Middlebrooks said the Republican, who

is seeking to return to the White House in 2024, had filed the suit "in order to dishonestly advance a political narrative." The ruling is an embarrassment for the

Republican who announced a third run for the White House in November. What did the judge rule? Middlebrooks last year threw out the $70 million lawsuit, which claimed

that Clinton, who lost the 2016 US presidential election to Trump, and others had created a false narrative that his campaign had colluded with Russia. The suit "should

never have been brought," Middlebrooks said in the 45-page written court order. The judge cited Trump's recent legal action against the Pulitzer Prize board, New York

Attorney General Letitia James, big tech companies and CNN in describing Trump as "a prolific and sophisticated litigant" who uses the courts "to seek revenge on political

adversaries." The ruling ordered Trump and his attorney, Alina Habba, to pay nearly $938,000 to the defendants in the case. "Its inadequacy as a legal claim was

evident from the start. No reasonable lawyer would have filed it," the judge wrote, adding that "none of the counts of the amended complaint stated a cognizable legal claim."