Donald Trump's efforts to sue Hillary Clinton over the 2016 election — that he won — suffered an apparent blow to his legal strategy.
"A federal judge — nominated to the bench by President Bill Clinton in 1996 — on Wednesday emphatically rejected Donald Trump’s demand that he recuse from Trump’s sprawling lawsuit against Hillary Clinton, declaring that there’s no legitimate basis to demand that he step back from the case," Politico reported Wednesday. "In a five-page order, Judge Donald Middlebrooks emphasized that he has never met either of the Clintons and was confirmed by unanimous consent in the Senate, requiring backing from both parties."
Trump did not offer a specific complaint against Middlebrooks.
"Middlebrooks observed that Trump filed his lawsuit in the Fort Pierce division of the Southern District of the Florida federal court and that the only District Court judge who sits in that division is a Trump appointee. However, under the court’s docketing system, the case wound up assigned to Middlebrooks, who sits in West Palm Beach. 'Despite the odds, this case landed with me instead,' Middlebrooks wrote, suggesting that Trump’s legal team was judge-shopping — seeking to get the case in front of a judge who might view it favorably," Politico explained. "He also quoted an appellate precedent observing that recusal demands are 'sometimes driven more by litigation strategies than by ethical concerns.'”
The judge also seemed to question the reading comprehension skills of Trump's attorneys.
"Given this precedent, I am not disqualified from presiding, nor should I recuse on the basis of any appearance of partiality. The three cases Plaintiff cites in his Motion compel no different conclusion, and indeed do not appear to support his arguments," the judge explained.
NEW: Judge appointed by B. Clinton emphatically refuses to recuse from new Trump \u201916 election lawsuit v. Hillary, throws some shade at Trump for complaining about potential bias while apparently trying to get case before judge he appointed. w/@kyledcheneyhttps://politi.co/3Jgv9Jc— Josh Gerstein (@Josh Gerstein) 1649296132