Arbitrator orders Trump campaign to pay $1.3M to former White House aide

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Arbitrator orders Trump campaign to pay $1.3M to former White House aide

The campaign of former President Donald J. Trump was ordered to pay Omarosa Manigault (L) $1.3 million in connection to a case concerning a book she wrote about her time in the White House. Pool File Photo by Michael Reynolds/UPI | License Photo

A court arbitrator has ordered former President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign to pay former White House aide and Apprentice contestant Omarosa Manigault Newman more than $1.3 million in attorney fees in a case concerning a scathing book she wrote about her time in the Trump administration.

The award was handed down late Tuesday by court arbitrator T. Andrew Brown who oversaw the case filed by the Trump campaign against Newman in August of 2018 on accusations that Newman’s then-recently published book Unhinged violated the terms of a non-disclosure agreement she signed when joining the White House in 2016.

Last September, Brown found the agreement “vague, indefinite and therefore void and unenforceable,” and ordered Newman’s attorneys to submit a request for an award for attorneys’ fees and costs, leading to the two sides fighting over the size of the payout.

The Trump campaign had argued against Newman receiving any legal fees claiming she and her counsel “engaged in bad faith before and during this proceeding” by publishing her book and making other disparaging statements about the former president amid litigation — claims that Brown dismissed and awarded her and her legal team $1.2 million for attorneys fees and $17,304.73 in costs.

“While at times Respondent’s counsel’s tone and temperament pushed the boundaries, the Arbitrator fails to find that counsel’s conduct rose to the level of bad faith or unethical conduct,” Brown wrote in his decision, a copy of which was obtained by UPI from Newman’s counsel.

John Philips, Newman’s attorney, told UPI in a statement that it is the largest known attorney fee award against a political campaign or president and that he hopes it “will send a message that weaponized litigation will not be tolerated and empower other lawyers to stand up and fight for the whistleblower and vocal critic against the oppressive machine.

“We look forward to receiving a check and will donate a portion of the proceeds to groups who stand up to the suppression of speech,” he said.

Newman described the victory on Twitter as a David and Goliath protracted battle between a first-year law student and the entirety of the former president’s legal team.

“Now pardon me as I get back to studying for my Contact Law final exam,” she quipped.

In his decision, Brown said he considered that Newman did not file the case and that she was defending herself over three years against an opponent who with far greater resources.

According to the court document and Phillips, the Trump campaign’s legal counsel was paid upwards of $4 million to litigate the case.

“That’s a lot of donations which went to lawyers in the name of politics,” Phillips said. “It’s truly a shame.

Concerning speculation that Trump’s campaign may appeal, Phillips joked online, “I love interest.”

“Who else wants some prevailing party fees and costs?”

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