A group of attorneys for former President Donald Trump have been sanctioned by a federal judge over their handling of a since-dismissed 2016 lawsuit that was brought against Hillary Clinton, the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and dozens more defendants.
In Thursday's sanctions determination, four attorneys (Alina Habba, Michael Madaio, Peter Ticktin, Jamie Alan Sasson) from two law firms were ordered to pay a $50,000 court penalty, along with more than $16,000 in attorney fees to one of the named defendants in Trump's lawsuit.
"Legal filings like those at issue here should be sanctioned ... both to penalize this conduct and deter similar conduct by these lawyers and others," wrote Florida-based U.S. District Judge Donald Middlebrooks, an appointee of former President Bill Clinton.
In his 19-page sanctions order, Judge Middlebrooks characterized the core tenets of Trump's lawsuit as "frivolous."
The lawsuit reportedly accused dozens of individuals and entities of "conspiring" to undermine the results of the 2016 presidential election.
For that 2016 race, Trump defeated Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party nominee, by an electoral-vote count of 334-227 — with 270 needed to clinch the presidency.
From his perspective, Judge Middlebrooks reasoned that Trump's lawsuit contained factual assertions that were "either knowingly false or made in reckless disregard for the truth."
Habba, who currently serves as a senior adviser to Trump, issued a statement following the sanctions order.
"It should be no surprise that we will be appealing this decision," said Habba.
Charles Dolan, an American billionaire who's likely best known for founding HBO and Cablevision, along with previously owning Major League Baseball's Cleveland Indians (now Guardians), was among the 29 defendants listed in the Trump lawsuit.
Within Middlebrooks' determination, the Trump attorneys listed "inaccuracies" about Dolan — a onetime campaign volunteer for Clinton who initiated the sanctions motion against Trump's attorneys, according to The Hill,
As part of the restitution, Dolan was awarded $16,274 in legal fees.
At the time of the case dismissal in September, Middlebrooks referred to Trump's amended complaint as "a two-hundred-page political manifesto outlining his grievances against those that have opposed him."
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