Trump Sticks D*ck In Toaster Again With Yet Another NDA Lawsuit
Remember that hilarious time when Donald Trump tried to shut up Stormy Daniels with an arbitration lawsuit, and instead ended up spilling the tea on David Dennison, Peggy Peterson, Essential Consultants, Karen McDougal, and Ol' Yeti Pubes's peculiar agreement with his pal David Pecker at the National Enquirer? Well! President Slow Learner and his Team of Geniuses are at it again, trying to punish former White House aide Cliff Sims for his mean book, Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days in the Trump White House, where he blabbed that Trump uses TRESemmé Tres Two, extra hold hairspray, and everyone in Trumpland is a garbage lizard person. Which isn't exactly news, but the anecdote about Kellyanne Conway text-leaking to reporters all day long, "perennially cloaked in an invisible fur coat, casting an all-knowing smile, as if she'd collected 98 Dalmatians with only 3 more to go," was very chef's kiss, as the kids say.
The Trump Campaign -- which is totally separate from the White House, wink wink -- filed an arbitration claim against Sims seeking to extract millions of Ameros and have him hand over his personal notes from his time working for the federal government. They tried this shit with Omarosa, who just laughed and waved her pen-microphone at them, presumably. And they tried this shit with Sam Nunberg, who sued them right back, but quietly. And now they're trying it with Cliff Sims, who said, "Oh, thank you! I was hoping to go on another round of morning shows to flog my book and maybe get some free publicity for a Senate challenge to Doug Jones next year in Alabama. Really appreciate the chance to look like the good guy and differentiate myself from the Titanic Administration. Blessed!" More or less, Wonkette may be paraphrasing.
Channeling his inner Bezos, Sims sued Trump, in his official capacity, requesting a declaratory judgement that the federal government is using the campaign as a "cutout" to stifle Sims's First Amendment right to talk about his government service. Lucky thing that Mark Zaid, the First Amendment superlawyer (and we don't mean that like when we call Larry Klayman a superlawyer) who sues the government for a living, was a-rarin' to take Sims's case pro bono. He'd already penned an Op Ed in the Washington Post last year on the illegality of those ridiculous nondisclosure agreements (NDA) whereTrump forced everyone to pinky swear never to say bad words about the Trump family or business forever and ever, amen. Put simply, the Trump campaign doesn't "own" Sims's experience as a government employee, so they can't use a private contract to control what he says about it. And the sooner we get a court to put its stamp of approval on this argument, the sooner we get people going on the record to say, "I was there, and that guy is a dangerous lunatic!"
But how to prove that the president is using the Trump campaign to do the government's dirty work, that's the hard p--- ... oh, never mind.
The White House and Department of Justice have previously made clear their view that tweets by President Trump are "official statements" from the Office of the President.
Not even twenty minutes after President Trump's tweet, and not as a matter of coincidence, Michael Glassner, the Trump Campaign Chief Operating Officer, tweeted: "The Trump campaign is preparing to file suit against Cliff Sims for violating our NDA." [Citations omitted.]
Say it with us now: THERE IS ALWAYS A TWEET.
Assuming the case survives a Motion for Summary Judgment, Zaid will immediately demand every email between the White House and the campaign, in case there was any coordination to get the ball rolling on the arbitration suit (spoiler alert ...), and then he'll set about deposing everyone at the Trump Campaign up to and including Trump himself.
LOL, that means COME AT ME, BRO! in Legalese. You can watch Sims and Zaid 'splain it to Mika 'n' the Gang over at MoJoe this morning.
But what coordination might Zaid be seeking to uncover in said depositions?
Upon information and belief, President Trump is directing, authorizing and/or otherwise approving substantive decisions of the Trump Campaign that are governmental in nature and for the purposes of concealing USGOVT involvement in order to silence Mr. Sims in a manner that would otherwise be unavailable under existing First Amendment case law.
Upon information and belief, funds held by the Trump Campaign are being used to compensate attorneys, including those in the Arbitration proceeding against Mr. Sims and others, who are acting in the place of USGOVT attorneys. Trump campaign funds are also reportedly being utilized to compensate attorneys for Jared Kushner, a Trump family member and senior federal employee, for matters related to his government service. [Citations omitted.]
So, let's see if we can sum this up tidy-like. The guy whose entire administration is in peril because he tried to enforce an arbitration agreement and wound up in a major campaign finance scandal is now helping a former aide sell books and boost his profile for a possible Senate run. And if the president loses, he'll have to let a lawyer depose him on the coordination between the White House and his campaign, open up his books, and have a court give every current and former White House employee's tell-all memoir a seal of approval?
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.