A federal judge has dismissed former President Donald Trump’s lawsuit against Hillary Clinton, the Democratic National Committee, several ex-FBI officials and more than two dozen other people and entities that he claims conspired to undermine his 2016 campaign by trying to vilify him with fabricated information tying him to Russia.
US District Judge Donald Middlebrooks dismissed the lawsuit Thursday, saying “most of Plaintiff’s claims are not only unsupported by any legal authority but plainly foreclosed by binding 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, a Bill Clinton appointee, wrote.
Trump filed his sprawling lawsuit in March, naming a wide cast of characters that Trump has accused for years of orchestrating a “deep state” conspiracy against him – including former FBI Director James Comey and other FBI officials, the retired British spy Christopher Steele and his associates, and a handful of Clinton campaign advisers.
Middlebrooks, of the Southern District of Florida, said there were “glaring problems” with Trump’s “audacious” interpretations of the law, and that many of Trump’s specific factual assertions were “implausible” or unsupported.
Trump “is not attempting to seek redress for any legal harm,” Middlebrooks said. “(I)nstead, 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.”
The ruling is a legal victory for the figures that Trump sued, many of whom were involved in Clinton’s campaign in 2016 or were involved in the US government’s efforts to investigate Russian interference in that election.
This includes including Clinton, several of her top 2016 campaign officials, the Democratic National Committee, Comey, his former deputy Andrew McCabe, former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. It also includes Steele, author of the Trump-Russia dossier and the opposition group that Steele worked with, Fusion GPS.
The lawsuit accused a large group of former US government officials and Democratic operatives of orchestrating a “deep state” conspiracy against him and of perpetuating a massive hoax in the form of the Russia investigation. Trump, who has pushed these baseless claims for years and included them in the lawsuit, had asked for $24 million in damages.
Alina Habba, an attorney for Trump, said Trump will “immediately move to appeal this decision.”
“We vehemently disagree with the opinion issued by the Court today,” Habba told CNN in a statement. “Not only is it 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.”
In April, lawyers for Clinton asked the judge to dismiss the lawsuit and argued that it had “no merit.”
Clinton’s team had argued that she should not be a defendant in the federal court in South Florida because too many years have passed to allow for a lawsuit centered on events from 2016.
This story has been updated with additional details.