Trump’s Case Against Hillary Clinton Thrown Out In Court: ‘Has No Merit As A Lawsuit’


A federal judge in Florida threw out former President Donald Trump’s lawsuit against Hillary Clinton over the 2016 election on Thursday, dismissing the ex-president’s allegations as “unsupported by any legal authority” after he accused Clinton and other Democratic officials of a “far-reaching conspiracy” aiming to take down his first presidential campaign.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) and Donald Trump listen debate at Washington … [+] University on October 9, 2016 in St Louis, Missouri.

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Key Facts

Trump sued Clinton, the Democratic National Committee and other officials in March, accusing them of racketeering conspiracy for their alleged “unthinkable plot” claiming Trump colluded with Russia in the 2016 election, which he alleges harmed his reputation.

U.S. District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks dismissed the case, writing Trump’s complaint is “inadequate in nearly every respect” and his legal claims are “unsupported by any legal authority” and go against Supreme Court precedent.

What Trump’s lawsuit “lacks in substance and legal support it seeks to substitute with length, hyperbole, and the settling of scores and grievances,” Middlebrooks wrote, noting the 193-page amended complaint is “certainly not” presented in a “concise and cohesive manner.”

Middlebrooks—who was appointed by President Bill Clinton, but said he had no conflict of interest with either him or Hillary—ruled Trump waited too long to bring the case, dismissing the ex-president’s arguments he was too busy to bring it when he was in the White House and noting Trump’s presidency “evidently did not deter him from filing other lawsuits.”

He also dismissed Trump’s claims on the merits in every respect, ruling Trump “misunderstands the applicable law,” his claims “lack any specific allegations which might provide factual support for the conclusions reached” and that statements Democrats made against him were First Amendment-protected speech.

Trump’s attorney Alina Habba said Friday the ex-president will “immediately” appeal the decision and the president’s legal team “vehemently disagree[s]” with the ruling.

Crucial Quote

“At its core, the problem with Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint is that Plaintiff 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,” Middlebrooks wrote.

Chief Critic

“Not only is [Middlebrooks’ ruling] 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,” Habba said.


Among Middlebrooks’ other issues with Trump’s lawsuit were that he made up fictitious parties in the lawsuit and had no grounds to bring the case in Florida, because Trump lived in New York at the time and none of the people he sued “aimed” any of their allegedly harmful behavior at Florida. “Knowledge that Florida is a state in the United States does not equate to knowledge that Defendants’ actions will have consequences in Florida,” Middlebrooks wrote.

What To Watch For

Middlebrooks suggested in his ruling that Trump’s attorneys could be sanctioned for bringing the case, ruling he “reserve[s] jurisdiction to adjudicate issues pertaining to sanctions.” The judge also cited the law authorizing sanctions for attorneys in his ruling, noting that by filing the lawsuit, Trump’s counsel certified that their legal claims “are warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument” and “have evidentiary support.” “I have serious doubts about whether that standard is met here,” Middlebrooks wrote.

Key Background

Trump’s lawsuit against Clinton repeats a litany of accusations on the right about the 2016 election, including that Democrats allegedly “fabricated” the “Steele dossier” that claimed collusion between Trump and Russia, “manufacture[d] a suspicious pattern of activity” between Trump and a Russian-owned bank, conducted “large-scale” FBI investigations led by “Clinton loyalists” and “instigat[ed] a full-blown media frenzy” to “publicly malign” Trump. The lawsuit was filed soon after claims began gaining traction on the right that the Clinton campaign “spied” on Trump in 2016, which was based on a new court filing from Justice Department special counsel John Durham—even though Durham’s filing did not actually make such accusations. The Senate Intelligence Committee found in 2019, when it was controlled by Republicans, that the Russian government “engaged in an aggressive, multifaceted effort to influence, or attempt to influence, the outcome of the 2016 presidential election” in Trump’s favor.

Further Reading

Trump Sues Hillary Clinton For Allegedly Smearing His 2016 Campaign (Forbes)

Trump Tells Judge He Was Too Busy as President to Sue Clinton Sooner (Bloomberg)

Hillary Clinton moves to shut down Trump lawsuit (Politico)

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Nicholas ‘Nick’ Statman entered the property industry in 2001 and set up a property buying company that quickly established itself as one of the biggest in the sector. During this time the Company successfully transacted on thousands of residential properties across the UK. Nicholas Statman was an early pioneer of the ‘quick sale’ niche market which has since grown considerably with a multitude of companies now operating in the sector. Nicholas Statman has strategically built a sizeable residential and commercial property portfolio with a view to holding for optimum capital growth and a long term passive income. Nicholas Statman has been involved in almost every aspect of the property sector over a 20 year period – this includes buying and selling, development, letting and management and is now involved in the fast growing online/ hybrid Estate Agent industry.

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