A team of Donald Trump's lawyers has been penalized and scolded by a federal judge over a conspiracy lawsuit they filed against Hillary Clinton and others. US District Judge Donald Middlebrooks ordered Alina Habba, Peter Ticktin, and associates to pay a combined $50,000 penalty, in addition to reimbursing a man the more than $16,000 it cost him to defend himself against what the ruling called a frivolous suit. Charles Dolan, a public relations executive, had sought the financial penalties after Middlebrooks dismissed the Trump lawsuit in September, the Wall Street Journal reports. Clinton and other Democrats also want Trump to reimburse their legal costs, which topped $1 million.
The suit accused the defendants of mounting a vast conspiracy to rig the 2016 presidential election by saying Trump colluded with Russia. The Florida judge said Trump's side displayed a "cavalier attitude towards facts" throughout the case. Ticktin said his team will appeal. "We attempted to right a wrong, and our reward is a kick in the teeth," he said Friday. That's not how the judge saw it, and he didn't exempt the former president from criticism. "Thirty-one individuals and organizations were summoned to court, forced to hire lawyers to defend against frivolous claims," Middlebrook wrote. "The only common thread against them was Mr. Trump's animus." (Read more Donald Trump stories.)