In what the New York Times describes as a "scathing ruling", a Florida judge has ordered Donald Trump and his lawyer to pay nearly $1m in sanctions for filing a frivolous lawsuit against Hillary Clinton there.
"This case should never have been brought," U.S. District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks wrote in a 46-page ruling. "Its inadequacy as a legal claim was evident from the start. No reasonable lawyer would have filed it. Intended for a political purpose, none of the counts of the amended complaint stated a cognizable legal claim." … The ruling was a significant rebuke of Mr. Trump, who has rarely faced such consequences in his long history of using the courts as a weapon against business rivals and partners, as well as former employees and reporters. …
The judge took direct aim at Trump's abuse of courts:
"Mr. Trump is a prolific and sophisticated litigant who is repeatedly using the courts to seek revenge on political adversaries," Judge Middlebrooks wrote. "He is the mastermind of strategic abuse of the judicial process, and he cannot be seen as a litigant blindly following the advice of a lawyer. He knew full well the impact of his actions."