'Full retreat mode': Trump drops suit against NY AG Letitia James day after judge fines him nearly $1 million

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The Right Wing

Donald Trump on Friday withdrew his lawsuit against New York State Attorney General Letitia James, barely one day after a federal judge fined the ex-president and his attorney nearly one million dollars, having previously rejected as “completely frivolous” the ex-president’s lawsuit that “was brought in bad faith for an improper purpose.”

U.S. District Court Judge Donald Middlebrooks on Thursday ordered Trump and his attorney, Alina Habba, to pay $937,989.39 to nearly 30 defendants. Hillary Clinton is the largest single beneficiary of that judgment. Trump and Habba were ordered to pay Clinton nearly $172,000 for legal costs, according to Politico.

The Guardian’s Hugo Lowell Friday morning reports Trump’s lawsuit against NY Attorney General James is “the type of frivolous case that was cited by the judge who last night imposed sanctions of nearly $1 million against Trump and his lawyer Alina Habba.”

Lowell notes that Judge Middlebrooks “was also overseeing Trump v. James — and referenced Trump v. James as example of vexatious litigation in the Clinton case.”

The Daily Beast notes Trump “is in full retreat mode,” and observes, “Trump’s legal woes are mounting: judges have increasingly taken tougher stances against him for misusing the nation’s court system to slow down legitimate law enforcement efforts against him.”

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Judge Middlebrooks on Thursday “specifically cited Trump’s claim that Clinton conspired with former FBI Director James Comey to seek a Trump prosecution — one that Middlebrooks noted never occurred — as ‘categorically absurd,'” Politico reported. Middlebrooks called Trump’s lawsuit “a deliberate attempt to harass; to tell a story without regard to facts,”

“In a blistering 46-page order, U.S. District Court Judge Donald Middlebrooks said Trump’s sprawling lawsuit against Hillary Clinton and dozens of former Justice Department and FBI officials was an almost cartoonish abuse of the legal system,” Politico reported.

“He also noted that Trump and Habba repeatedly mischaracterized the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report. They also cited Russian intelligence — shared by then-Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe with Sen. Lindsey Graham — as a basis for one of their claims, without noting that it was Russian intelligence and that Ratcliffe said it was unverified.”

Judge Middlebrook ordered Trump and Hana to pay Hillary Clinton’s legal costs, awarding her nearly $172,000, which Politico notes is “the biggest award of fees for a single defendant.”

The Washington Post notes that the “judgment also referenced Trump’s other lawsuits, saying they demonstrated ‘a pattern of abuse of the courts.’ Among them were legal complaints against Twitter, CNN, New York Attorney General Letitia James and the Pulitzer Prize board for a 2018 award given jointly to The Post and the New York Times for coverage of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.”

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In. September, when Judge Middlebrook dismissed the lawsuit, he had called it so weak he agreed with the defendants who described it as “a fundraising tool, a press release, or a list of political grievances,” and added, “it has no merit as a lawsuit.”

“At its core,” Middlebrook had ruled, “the problem with [Trump’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.”

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