Ex-Trump aide is now suing the president for abusing his office and trying to punish his speaking out: report
Cliff Sims, a former communications aide in President Donald Trump's White House and the author of the recently released tell-all book "Team of Vipers," is now suing his former boss for allegedly trying to punish him for publishing his story.
Attorney Mark Zaid confirmed the existence of the lawsuit on Twitter, which was first reported by the New York Times.
"This is a pro bono effort to ensure any former Fed employee who desires to speak out against this Administration, or any future one, can do so w/o intimidation," Zaid tweeted.
The Times reports that the lawsuit accuses Trump of using his campaign to punish him. Sims said that the president's campaign filed an arbitration suit against him; but it accused Trump himself of essentially his office in an effort to silence a former federal employee, as the Times notes:
“The Trump campaign’s demand for arbitration is nothing but a subterfuge for the actions of the” federal government, the suit alleges, and was “undertaken under express authorization and instruction, and certainly with the blessing of, President Trump.’
It continues, “These actions sufficiently and constructively qualify as state action for purposes of First Amendment jurisdictional authority.” 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.”
For that reason, Sims is suing Trump in his capacity as president, not the campaign itself.
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 fired. Sims says that he's not sure if he signed an NDA to work in the White House. He does admit that he signed an NDA for the campaign.