A South Florida federal judge (not that one) on Friday dismissed a complaint filed earlier this year from President Trump in which he accused everyone who had offended him during his political career of wrongdoing.
U.S. District Judge Donald Middlebrooks for the Southern District of Florida found that Trump and his attorneys might be eligible for judicial sanctions as a punishment for filing the lawsuit, which he described as “inadequate in nearly every respect.”
Trump sued in March 2022, alleging in civil court what he could never coax, cajole, or coerce the Justice Department to do: claim that the Trump-Russia investigation was the product of an elaborate conspiracy with Hillary Clinton, the DNC, and various other malefactors at the top.
“At its core, the problem with Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint is that Plaintiff is not attempting to seek redress for any legal harm,” Judge Middlebrooks wrote. “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.”
Throughout the ruling, the judge laces his writing with seeming annoyance at having been presented with the complaint in the first place.
At one point, Middlebrooks attempts to summarize Trump’s argument, noting that his “theory of the case” was “set forth over 527 paragraphs in the first 118 pages of the Amended Complaint,” and that it is “difficult to summarize in a concise and cohesive manner.”
“It was certainly not presented that way,” he added.
Middlebrooks found that Trump had characterized events in an “implausible” way because he did not provide any facts to support his claims.
“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 a landmark Supreme Court ruling against former Attorney General John Ashcroft in a War on Terror prosecution.
“What the Amended Complaint lacks in substance and legal support it seeks to substitute with length, hyperbole, and the settling of scores and grievance,” the judge added.
Middlebrooks also wrote that Trump had opened himself up to potential sanctions for filing the complaint.
Those may be monetary, or have to do with orders related to the attorneys who filed the case’s professional standing.
Lawyers who represented Trump in the so-called “Kraken” cases during the 2020 election — seeking to overturn the results in several states — have also faced sanctioning.