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Trump seeks $10 million from former aide in disclosure case

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke during a campaign rally at the Sharonville Convention Center on July 6, in Cincinnati. Trump is seeking $10 million in damages from a former senior campaign consultant, Sam Nunberg, alleging that Nunberg leaked confidential information to reporters in violation of a nondisclosure agreement.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign communications manager Hope Hicks, right, and Daniel Scavino Jr., Director for Social Media for Trump Campaign walked to their motorcade vehicle after Trump’s May 12 visit to Jones Day’s D.C. law offices in Washington.

WASHINGTON » Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is seeking $10 million in damages from former senior campaign consultant Sam Nunberg, alleging that Nunberg leaked confidential information to reporters in violation of a nondisclosure agreement.

In a court filing obtained by The Associated Press, Nunberg accused Trump of trying to silence him “in a misguided attempt to cover up media coverage of an apparent affair” between two senior campaign staffers.

The highly unusual legal dispute reflects Trump’s efforts to aggressively protect the secrecy of his campaign’s inner workings.

The AP reported last month that Trump requires nearly everyone in his campaign and businesses to sign legally binding nondisclosure agreements prohibiting them from releasing any confidential or disparaging information about the real estate mogul, his family or his companies. Trump has also said he would consider requiring such agreements in the White House.

In the court filings, Nunberg denied disparaging Trump and accused the presumptive GOP nominee of attempting to “bully” him into silence after Nunberg decided to publicly support Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential bid.

“Mr. Trump’s actions in starting a $10 million arbitration, seeking to silence Mr. Nunberg and have the proceedings sealed are a cautionary tale of what the American people face if Mr. Trump is elected president,” said Andrew Miltenberg, Nunberg’s attorney. Miltenberg said Trump’s attorney argued for the documents to be sealed in a hearing this morning.

Trump attorney Alan Garten repeatedly declined to refer to Nunberg by name, but described him as “a person who has a history of making untrue, outlandish and outrageous allegations.”

Nunberg was a consultant to Trump’s presidential campaign but was fired in August because of racist posts he wrote on Facebook.

Nunberg has been highly critical of Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, both professionally and personally. In a recent GQ Magazine interview, he said he would suck the “blood of out of (Lewandowski’s) skull by the time I’m done with him.”

In the court filings, Nunberg said Trump filed a $10 million arbitration claim against him and falsely accused him of being a source of a New York Post story from mid-May that recounted a public quarrel between Lewandowski and campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks. Lewandowski was fired from the campaign in June after months of tension with other senior Trump advisers.

Nunberg denied being the source of the article, but in court papers referred to the quarrel as being part of an “apparent affair.”

Garten told the AP that Nunberg’s allegations about Hicks and Lewandowski are “categorically untrue.” Reached by phone, Lewandowski said he was “not familiar with the court case” and would not comment on Nunberg’s allegations.

Hicks did not respond to detailed requests to respond to the allegations sent via email and text, as well as a voicemail.

Nunberg’s filed the court documents in an attempt to block private arbitration proceedings initiated by Trump in May.

In addition to asserting a right to discuss the campaign on free speech grounds, Nunberg’s lawsuit also argued that the campaign’s arbitration claim was invalid because it was brought by an exploratory group Trump formed for his 2012 campaign, “which has nothing to do with the Trump Campaign’s activities in the 2016 presidential campaign cycle.”

“The Trump Campaign was not in existence prior to or at the time of the agreement, and Mr. Nunberg did not agree or intend that it apply to any future entity such as the Trump Campaign,” Nunberg’s complaint said.

In an affidavit, Nunberg’s mother, Rebecca Citron Nunberg, said the Trump entity bringing the claim against her son is not registered in the state of New York, depriving it of its ability to pursue legal claims against him.

Associated Press writer Jeff Horwitz contributed to this report.

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  • When Trump attorney Alan Garten described Nurnberg as “a person who has a history of making untrue, outlandish and outrageous allegations,” I think he was confused. He must have been describing Trump/

      • Hilliary is outspending him 10-1. Wall Strret isn’t returning her calls. She’s toxic as the polls are beginning to show. I just made another donation. What’s in your wallet except cheap comments. Money talks, bs walks. Ask detection.

  • No judge will allow this to move forward to trial, and no jury would award money damages anyway. Mr. Trump would need to show damages, and he will not be able to do that. He’s a thin skinned bully who has filed thousands of law suits over the years to intimidate people. The Trump University case is going to be a gigantic payback for his past frauds. He has probably been lying for years about his wealth – why would he otherwise steal money through Trump University from veterans and the elderly – and a punishing judgment against him could finally shut him up.

    • What’s in your wallet, blabber mouth. Your candidate is spending 10-1 buying ads to blunt her dishonesty. If Nunberg crossed the line he has got to pay. Hilliary is asking for MONEY, not cheap comments. Wall Street and Corporate donors aren’t returning her calls. Crooked Hilliary is depending on You.

    • You got to come up with something more than Trump U to offset what Comey did to Hilliary. Trump was trying to help People make some easy cash. If they fell for it or was too stupid caveat emptor.
      What’s in your wallet.

    • Arbitration is a proceeding in which a dispute is resolved by an impartial adjudicator whose decision the parties to the dispute have agreed, or legislation has decreed, will be final and binding. There are limited rights of review and appeal of arbitration awards.

      • Employment arbitration law is a large specialty practice area. Why do we need courthouses, judges and lawyers, if all we need is you copying and pasting Wikipedia in your basement? Talk about cost savings!

    • This is how trump intimidates people. Throw an army of “lawyers” at people who oppose him. Uses his money to strangle people and clients. So many stories of him low balling his contractors then suing them. Plus he bankrupt his companies of which lots were paid off by tax payers. This is a rich sleeze.

  • He knows how to make money for sure. Waiting to see the outcome on the case in San Diego regarding Trump University where Trump is being sued by some people that went to those classes and now wants their money back. The judge had a hearing today.

  • Here are some interesting facts on the lawsuits, from USA today June 2, 2016.

    The USA TODAY analysis identified at least 3,500 legal actions involving Trump.

    Among those cases with a clear resolution, Trump’s side was the apparent victor in 451 and the loser in 38. In about 500 cases, judges dismissed plaintiffs’ claims against Trump. In hundreds more, cases ended with the available public record unclear about the resolution.

    Close to half the court cases — about 1,600 — involved lawsuits against gamblers who had credit at Trump-connected casinos and failed to pay their debts. About 100 additional disputes centered on other issues at the casinos. Trump and his enterprises have been named in almost 700 personal-injury claims and about 165 court disputes with government agencies.

    Personally, I don’t think this reflects badly on Trump at all. Of the 950 where we know the outcomes, the courts were on his side in all but 38.

    • You conveniently failed to mention all of the cases filed by small businesses that he stiffed on the sad journey into his multiple bankruptcies. There is a reason that a lot of banks won’t go near him. He doesn’t pay his bills, and when finally forced into a corner, he files bankruptcy. He’s a fraud.

      Plus a racist. There’s that too.

      • Hey, what happen to the big leads you were blabbering about just a few days ago. What’s going on?
        You are just as arrogant as the Clintons. How can you sleep at night supporting someone with such a dubious past. What’s in your wallet? She needs more money so Bill can wait for Loretta on the Tarmac for their next tryst. I guess they told her husband to take a walk.

      • I included here what was written in the USA Today article so I do not believe that I “conveniently” left out anything. Maybe you could check it out. Did I miss something from the article?

        Re “conveniently” : I don’t think your childish sarcasm is very productive.

    • Obviously your research shows a very very different story compared to the Clintonian posts above.
      At least Nunberg is alive to contest the suit. If you were in the clinton camp…and fell out of grace…you have to watch your back. Some who fell out of grace have mysteriuosly passed.

  • I’m very familiar with Non Disclosure Agreements. Essentially, they are intended to prevent “critical” information from being used as a vehicle for personal profit, or commercial espionage. For Trump to be suing an “individual” for $10M, is simply irresponsible, and purely vindictive. To tie an average individual up in court for what could be years, could likely destroy their lives. Trump has knowingly loosed his legal dogs on this individual. As a billionaire, Trump couldn’t care less regarding his cost. Trump’s only motivation is to severely hurt this person. Having worked with NDA’s, and understanding there need and purpose, I find trump’s actions to be deeply repulsive. A decent businessman with character, would not do what Trump is doing.

    • I believe Trump filed an arbitration claim.
      “Arbitration is a proceeding in which a dispute is resolved by an impartial adjudicator whose decision the parties to the dispute have agreed, or legislation has decreed, will be final and binding. There are limited rights of review and appeal of arbitration awards.”
      It’s up to Nunberg what he wants to do. If I were him I’d agree to keep his mouth shut.

      • Too bad Nunberg just won a temporary stay of the claim.

        Trump has a long history of trying to use the legal system to intimidate people. He even threatened to sue Cruz during the campaign. Trump once sued a reporter for an article suggesting his net worth was far lower. Got tossed out of court so fast his head spun.

        You’re backing a candidate who has no problems using the courts to attack anyone he wants regardless of the validity of the claims made against him.

        Trump is an authoritarian crybaby. No wonder you like him.

    • FBI agents involved in the Clinton email scandal investigation had to sign a “Case Briefing Acknowledgement” document….essentially a secrecy non disclosure form….cannot talk about the case…or else!

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