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    Saturday, April 01, 2023

    Trump drops lawsuit after being fined nearly $1M for ‘strategic abuse’ of legal system

    New York — Former President Donald Trump dropped a lawsuit against New York Attorney General Letitia James on Friday just a day after a federal judge slapped him and a lawyer with a nearly $1 million fine for filing bogus cases against political enemies.

    Trump pulled the plug on the Florida suit against James after being slapped down by U.S. District Judge Middlebrooks over a separate lawsuit that accused Hillary Clinton of engineering the Russia collusion probe.

    “This litigation has all the telltale signs of being both vexatious and frivolous,” Middlebrooks told Trump’s lawyers ahead of his decision to give up the ghost on the James suit.

    Trump was suing James, whom he regularly trashes on social media, in apparently retaliation for her office’s $250 million civil suit against him and his self-named real estate firm.

    Similar Trump actions against James were already dismissed by state and federal judges in New York.

    The decision to abandon the Hail Mary lawsuit against James came after Middlebrooks on Thursday ordered Trump and lawyer Alina Habba to pay $937,989.39 for abusing the legal system to make political points.

    “(Trump) is the mastermind of strategic abuse of the judicial process, Middlebrooks wrote in a blistering 46-page ruling. “He cannot be seen as a litigant blindly following the advice of a lawyer. He knew full well the impact of his actions.”

    Middlebrooks had already dismissed Trump’s original lawsuit, which accused Clinton and others of orchestrating “a malicious conspiracy” to accuse his 2016 winning campaign of colluding with Russia.

    But he said the fine was needed to slap down Trump to get him to stop filing baseless “revenge lawsuits” designed only to win favorable press coverage.

    “(Trump) misrepresented and cherry-picked portions of public reports and filings to support a false factual narrative,” Thursday’s judgment found. “It happened too often to be accidental. Its purpose was political, not legal.”

    The lawsuit named Clinton and some of her top advisers, as well as former FBI Director James Comey and other FBI officials involved in the investigation into whether Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign had coordinated with Russia to sway the outcome of the election.

    Trump, who recently announced his comeback 2024 bid for the White House, was found jointly liable along with Habba and her law firm.

    Middlebrooks said no lawyer worth their salt would have ever filed the suit.

    “Here, we are confronted with a lawsuit that should never have been filed, which was completely frivolous, both factually and legally, and which was brought in bad faith for an improper purpose,” he wrote.

    The judge cited Trump’s recent scattershot legal actions against the Pulitzer Prize board, big tech companies and CNN as evidence that the former president uses the courts “to seek revenge on political adversaries.”

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