Citing “virulent prejudice,” former president Donald Trump wants the judge overseeing his RICO case against Hillary Clinton to recuse himself because he was appointed by Bill Clinton!
Trump sued Hillary Clinton last month, accusing her — and several other defendants linked to her 2016 campaign, including the Democratic Party, the DOJ, and the FBI — of carrying out an “unthinkable plot” to tie his 2016 campaign to the Russian government.
The lawsuit was filed in the Southern District of Florida, where Trump lives. Judge Donald Middlebrooks, who Bill Clinton appointed to the court in 1997, was assigned to oversee the case.
“Due to the fact that the Defendant, Hillary Clinton, is being sued by her former opponent for the United States Presidency, an election that she lost, regarding serious allegations on her part, as well as her allies, of engaging in fraudulent and unlawful activities against the Plaintiff, and because her husband nominated Judge Middlebrooks to the Federal Bench, there exists a reasonable basis that Judge Middlebrooks’ impartiality will be questioned,” Trump’s attorneys said in a recent court filing.
“Due to the fact that Judge Middlebrooks has a relationship to the Defendant, Hillary Clinton’s husband, by way of his nomination as Judge to this Court, this amounts to prejudice so virulent or pervasive as to constitute bias against a party,” the filing continued.
While Trump’s claim may hold some merit, as Politico reported, it’s exceedingly rare for courts to grant motions seeking the recusal of judges based on the political party of the president who nominated them.
Trump’s sweeping racketeering lawsuit against Clinton and the other defendants accused them of conspiring to fabricate evidence tying him to “a hostile foreign sovereignty.”
Hillary Clinton’s spokesman Nick Merrill said in an earlier statement to the press when the lawsuit was first filed that the suit was “nonsense.” There has been no comment from the Clinton camp thus far on the request for Middlebrooks’s recusal.