Florida District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks ordered the sanctions for Trump and Habba due to their filing of a "frivolous" lawsuit against Hillary Clinton, a few of her advisors and former FBI Director James Comey for "what [Trump] believed was an attempt to compromise his presidential campaign by 'alleging ties to Russia.'"
“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 order.
Per CNBC, Trump and Habba's appeal comes "days after" their lawyer, Jared Roberts, told Middlebrooks they could post "a bond of $1,031,788 to cover the costs of the sanctions" as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit reviewed the issue.
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Although the suit was dropped in September 2022, AlterNet reports Trump persisted in "undermining the rule of law" — as written in the judge's order — which ultimately led Middlebrooks to order Trump and Habba "to pay approximately $938,000" in sanctions to the defendants.
Furthermore, Middlebrooks called Trump “the mastermind of strategic abuse of the judicial process," who usually employs a “pattern of abuse of the courts,” in an effort to seek “revenge on political adversaries.”