(Bloomberg) -- Hillary Clinton asked a federal judge to sanction former President Donald Trump and his lawyers for filing an allegedly frivolous lawsuit accusing them of conspiring to undermine his term in office.
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Trump and his attorneys should be ordered to pay $1.06 million in legal fees and costs that were racked up by Clinton, her 2016 presidential campaign and several other Democratic-linked defendants for filing the suit as a “political stunt,” according to a filing Monday in federal court in Florida.
Trump’s “theories were obviously and fatally defective from the very inception of this action,” Clinton’s attorney David E. Kendall and other defense lawyers said in the joint filing.
US District Judge Donald Middlebrooks, appointed to the bench by Bill Clinton, dismissed the suit in September, ruling it amounted to a “manifesto” by Trump that was filed too late and failed to back up his alleged conspiracy despite 193 pages of claims. The former president has appealed the ruling.
Alina Habba, one of Trump’s lawyers, blasted the motion as a “ruse.”
“We vehemently deny the inflammatory allegations contained in the sanctions motion filed by the Clinton team,” Habba said in an emailed statement. “This motion, conveniently filed one week prior to Election Day, is nothing more than a thinly-veiled attempt to score political points.”
Clinton’s filing quotes some of Habba’s appearances on conservative news outlets to discuss filing the suit, alleging the lawyer’s remarks are evidence the case was filed for political purposes rather than to press legitimate claims.
“What the real goal [of the suit] is, is democracy. Is continuing to make sure that our elections, continuing to make sure our justice system is not obstructed by political enemies,” Habba said on Newsmax on March 31, according to the filing. “That cannot happen. And that’s exactly what happened.”
The suit was filed in March under the civil version of a racketeering law normally used against organized crime. But Clinton argued the suit failed because, among other things, Trump missed the four-year statute of limitations. All of the alleged conduct was known to him no later than Oct. 29, 2017, when he publicly accused several of the defendants of cooking up a Russia “witch hunt,” Clinton said.
Clinton is seeking to recover $176,412, according to the filing. Other defendants who are seeking to recover fees include former Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook, chairman John Podesta and former Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
The case is Trump v. Clinton, 22-cv-14102, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida.
(Updates with comment from Trump’s lawyer)
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