Hillary Clinton wants Donald Trump to pay.
The failed 2016 Democratic presidential candidate and 17 other Democratic allied defendants filed court papers Monday demanding that the former president pay her legal fees in a dismissed lawsuit she called frivolous.
The lawsuit, which accused Mrs. Clinton of conspiracy over the unproven charges of Russian collusion during the 2016 campaign, was dismissed in September and the former first lady’s lawyers called it a “political stunt” that can and should result in sanctions.
“A reasonable attorney would never have filed this suit, let alone continued to prosecute it after multiple Defendants’ motions to dismiss highlighted its fundamental and incurable defects,” Mrs. Clinton‘s attorneys wrote.
A judge tossed the suit, which Mr. Trump filed in March, as merely a “political manifesto.” Mr. Trump appealed that dismissal earlier this month to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.
Federal law lets a judge order attorneys who “unreasonably and vexatiously” multiply court proceedings to pay excess costs, expenses and attorneys’ fees.
“Plaintiff’s suit was unwarranted on the facts, unsupported by the law and imposed substantial burdens both on Defendants and this Court,” Mrs. Clinton‘s attorneys argued. “Despite being alerted to the many deficiencies in the initial Complaint by one round of motions to dismiss, Plaintiff and his counsel pressed forward on an Amended Complaint that fixed none of the problems.”
In a statement, Trump attorney Alina Habba denied that the lawsuit was politically motivated but accused Mrs. Clinton of making the filing for political purposes.
“This motion, conveniently filed one week prior to election day, is nothing more than a thinly-veiled attempt to score political points,” she continued. “This motion is particularly inappropriate, given that our client’s case will soon be reviewed by the Eleventh Circuit. We will oppose this motion and trust that the Court will see through this ruse.”
Mr. Trump had sued the Democratic officials, claiming they violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, as they allegedly worked together to create a false narrative that Mr. Trump colluded with a “hostile foreign sovereignty.”
Mr. Trump filed the lawsuit in March against more than a dozen defendants involved in years of accusations that his campaign worked with Russia to meddle in the 2016 presidential election.
The lengthy lawsuit claimed the Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee and others conspired to perpetrate a fraud and obstructed justice, preventing the president from doing his job while in office.
The complaint said Mr. Trump was forced to spend more than $24 million defending himself against the false accusation that he had colluded with Russia.
The accusations that Mr. Trump’s campaign worked with Russia during the 2016 election led to a two-year investigation headed by special counsel Robert Mueller, which dogged Mr. Trump throughout his presidency but did not result in any criminal charges against him or his family.
Special counsel John Durham has linked Mrs. Clinton‘s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee to the false narrative of Trump-Russia collusion that was peddled to the FBI and the news media.
The collusion narrative was pushed by British ex-spy Christopher Steele, who compiled a dossier of salacious, unverified accusations about Mr. Trump and Russia.
Mr. Steele was hired by Fusion GPS, which was hired by Perkins Coie, a law firm that represented the DNC in 2016.
The lawsuit claimed they worked in concert to create false accusations about Mr. Trump to discredit his candidacy and to spearhead federal investigations. They also used news media to bolster the accusations, according to the lawsuit.
The litigation had asked the judge to order a jury trial as the former president wanted to recover financial damages.
• Jeff Mordock and Alex Swoyer contributed to this story.