Saturday, 23 February, 2019

Former White House aide who wrote expose sues Trump

Screenshot  CNN Screenshot CNN
Melinda Barton | 14 February, 2019, 13:11

A former White House staffer who wrote a tell-all book, is suing President Donald Trump over non-disclosure agreements, the media reported on Tuesday.

Trump has had members of the administration and his campaign sign non-disclosure agreements, as revealed by Omarosa Manigault-Newman, who wrote a scathing book about her time working for Trump after she was sacked.

"This action seeks to permanently enjoin the Defendants from silencing Mr. Sims with respect to any information he learned during his tenure as a federal employee, and any legal rights and protections therefrom that may necessarily flow", the court document reads.

This story is still developing. It adds that the federal government has "infringed upon Mr. Sims's First Amendment rights as a former federal employee and acted contrary to the interests of public policy".

Sims' lawyer says the president, through his campaign organization is conducting its own campaign of retribution against unfavored former staffers that, if successful, will violate their rights to free speech.

Sims told CNN he wasn't sure whether he had signed an NDA, but probably made the same agreements as other former aides who wrote tell-all books, including press secretary Sean Spicer and 2016 campaign officials Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie. According to the New York Times, the president's campaign organization filed an arbitration claim against the author last week.

"A low level staffer that I hardly knew named Cliff Sims wrote yet another boring book based on made up stories and fiction", Trump tweeted on January 29.

"It's our understanding from sources that the president was consulted and instructed the campaign should proceed with the arbitration", Zaid said. "He pretended to be an insider when in fact he was nothing more than a gofer". That campaign NDA, he argues, is being used in an unconstitutional attempt to silence his reflections about working in the White House. "He signed a non-disclosure agreement".

Sims's lawsuit notes it does not seek to stop those proceedings, which it states will be handled separately.