Former President Donald Trump and one of his lawyers on Monday said they are appealing nearly $1 million in sanctions slapped on them for what a federal judge called their “frivolous” lawsuit against Hillary Clinton and more than two dozen other defendants.
The court filing about the appeal came days after a lawyer for Trump and his attorney Alina Habba told the judge in the case they were willing to put up a bond of $1,031,788 to cover the costs of the sanctions while the federal Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit considered the matter.
In imposing those sanctions last month, Judge John Middlebrooks said in an order, “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.”
Trump’s suit, which sought $70 million in damages, accused Clinton, former FBI officials, the Democratic National Committee, and others of conspiring to create a “false narrative that Trump and his 2016 presidential campaign against Clinton were colluding with Russia to try to win the election that year.
Middlebrooks last year dismissed the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, and barred Trump from refiling the complaint.
He later ordered Trump and his Habba, to pay more than $937,000 in sanctions.
Middlebrooks in his sanctions order called Trump “a mastermind of strategic abuse of the judicial process,” and a “prolific and sophisticated litigant who is repeatedly using the courts to seek revenge on political adversaries.”
A day after Middlebrooks issued that order, Trump voluntarily dropped another lawsuit he had pending before the same judge against New York Attorney General Letitia James, which is related to her pending $250 million fraud lawsuit against Trump and his company in Manhattan state court.
Jared Roberts, the lawyer for Trump and Habba, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNBC about the appeal.