Trump Sustains Another Massive Defeat In Federal Court Amid Legal Troubles


A federal judge in Florida has rejected an attempt from former President Donald Trump and his team to revive a sprawling lawsuit that alleged a conspiracy against him propagated around the time of the 2016 race for president by interests including Hillary Clinton and many others. This case grew from Trump’s many characterizations of the claims against him of potential ties to Russia as a “hoax.”

The filing that sought the resuscitation of key claims was made following a report from John Durham, who served as a special counsel at the federal Justice Department investigating the origins of the Russia investigation. Durham never proved any conspiracy in court, and the two criminal cases that he did bring to court both failed for prosecutors, with jury acquittals on all counts. Though originally favored by the far-right, Durham then faced criticism for a supposedly overly lax investigation. The judge handling the dispute attempted by Trump and his team in Florida found that Durham simply hadn’t found something paradigm-shifting to the point of reopening the proceedings at that level.

“Even if the Durham Report uncovered the sort of vast conspiracy alleged by Plaintiff (it plainly did not), it would not change the many legal conclusions I made in the Order dismissing Plaintiff’s lawsuit,” the judge, Donald Middlebrooks, said in his new rejection. “And whatever the Durham Report can be said to have uncovered, for purposes of this case, it does not change my findings that Movants acted in bad faith in bringing this lawsuit and that this case exemplifies Mr. Trump’s history of abusing the judicial process.”

Later in the decision, the judge also criticized the claims from Trump’s corner for vague, imprecise terminology that failed to articulate the specific and actionable claims that would constitute at least passable legal action. It’s reminiscent of the claims from Arizona’s Kari Lake, who as Republican nominee lost last year’s race to be that state’s governor, that she need not show in more precise terms how the fraud she’s alleged to have marred that contest affected the outcome. Lake has consistently failed in judicial attempts to enact a change in what’s transpired. Read Middlebrooks’s full findings here. The appeals process remains open.