Former President Donald Trump and one of his lawyers said Monday that they will appeal almost $1 million in fines issued by a federal judge for their “frivolous” lawsuit against Hillary Clinton and more than two dozen other defendants.
The appeal was filed in court just days after a lawyer for Trump and his attorney Alina Habba told the judge in the case that they were prepared to put up a bond of $1,031,788 to pay the expenses of the sanctions while the federal Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit evaluated the matter.
According to the Washington Post, the appeal will be filed with another at the same court of appeals, which seeks to overturn both the rejection of Trump’s case and an earlier, $50,000 sanctions order imposed against only Trump’s lawyers.
“The Florida federal lawsuit filed on behalf of President Trump was factually correct and legally sound,” said Jesse Binnall, a lawyer for Trump and Habba, who is handling the appeal.
“We look forward to making our case to the Eleventh Circuit as each and every one of the decisions by the district court should be decisively reversed,” Binnall said.
Trump’s lawsuit sought $70 million in damages, accusing Clinton, former FBI officials, the Democratic National Committee, and others of conspiring to construct a “false narrative” that Trump and his 2016 presidential campaign against Clinton were plotting with Russia to win the election that year.
In September, Judge John Middlebrooks rejected the action, which was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, and prevented Trump from refiling it. Trump then filed an appeal against the dismissal.
Middlebrooks later fined Habba and other lawyers $50,000 at the request of one of the defendants, former DNC chairman Charles Dolan. Habba is appealing the order. On January 19, Middlebrooks imposed fines totaling more than $937,000 on Trump and Habba for suing the other defendants.
“We are confronted with a lawsuit that should never have been filed, which was completely frivolous, both factually and legally, and which was brought in bad faith for an improper purpose,” Middlebrooks wrote in his sanctions order.
Middlebrooks in that order called Trump “a mastermind of strategic abuse of the judicial process,” and a “prolific and sophisticated litigant who is repeatedly using the courts to seek revenge on political adversaries.”
A day following that order, Trump voluntarily dismissed another case he filed against New York Attorney General Letitia James before the same judge. That claim was connected to James’ current $250 million fraud case in Manhattan state court against Trump and his company.