On August 14, 2018, attorney Charles Harder filed a lawsuit in arbitration against Omarosa Manigault Newman on behalf of his client Donald J. Trump For President, Inc. (Trump’s Political Campaign). It was Trump’s common practice- weaponized litigation in a forum where it was often rewarded as arbitrators are paid hourly compared to judges in state and federal courts.
In essence, she was being sued under an over-broad non-disclosure agreement for statements she made in her book, Unhinged, and subsequent whistleblowing. It was an offensive attempt to gag her and violated Constitutionally protected speech.
As per Harder’s style, he immediately hit the press and added the “accolade” do his website, linking a story about him in “TheWrap.com.”
As is common in frivolous lawsuits, the press knew before the Defendant. He still has the story on his website even though he quit mid-Arbitration, as the going got tough. However, his netted over $3 million dollars in collections from the Campaign. That is a lot of red hats.
Depositions went poorly for the Campaign. Very Poorly. Their retained expert was the worst.
The Campaign’s lawyers, Harder LLP, hired “crisis management and media expert,” Eric Rose who had two problems in his deposition: (1) he was not aware that the sole recommendation he made on behalf of the Campaign- that Omarosa pay for over $800,000 for anti-defamation commercials to be aired before the election- violated campaign finance laws and was thus illegal, and (2) that Trump’s very own crisis management expert had a Twitter account full of disparaging comments about Trump, calling him a “pathological liar” and sharing opinions that Trump was a “moron” and criticizing Trump for wishing someone allegedly associated with sex trafficking- “well.” After this deposition, Trump’s lawyers sought to have this deposition removed from YouTube and, once again, lost that request.
During discovery, it was also revealed this is not only a frivolous lawsuit, but not one person with the Campaign could identify a single lost dollar or vote as a result of Omarosa’s comments. In fact, it revealed Trump’s NDA’s are so egregious inept and over-broad, they are legally unenforceable. Sean Dollman testified to issues related to whether the Campaign was essentially paying people through third parties to get around disclosure rules.
Alan Cobb also testifed:
As did Lucia Castellano:
Harder LLP, Trump’s lawyers, then quit the case. We suspect the Campaign will fold in order to try to get out of the massive lawsuits it faces. For too long, businesses like the Trump Campaign have been able to bully and intimidate based on invalid contracts. Thanks to all of the lawyers who have helped shine a light on this practice. And clients like Omarosa who went through tough times simple because she exercised her Constitutional rights.
Justin Clark appeared just in time to take the loss. Summary Judgment was granted in Omarosa Manigault Newman’s favor on September 27, 2021.
Omarosa Manigault Newman said:
“Clearly, I am very happy with this ruling . Donald has used this type of vexatious litigation to intimidate, harass and bully for years! Finally the bully has met his match!”
John Phillips released the following statement:
As a lawyer, this was an unimaginable case- a United States President abusing the Constitution and Bill of Rights with outrageously unenforceable non-disclosure agreements. Since Omarosa came forward, and was sued, we’ve said this agreement was illegal and offensive. It took too long to finally get past the frivolous defenses, experts and lawyers like Charles Harder billing the Campaign millions of dollars while free speech was stigmatized.
It’s over. We’ve won in Donald Trump and the Trump Campaign’s chosen forum. They now owe attorney’s fees. Whether the Campaign tries to bankrupt out of this ruling or it energizes more people to come forward and blow the whistle on corrupt government, it’s a win we can all be proud of. Kudos to Omarosa Manigault Newman for coming forward and taking this on.