Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is seeking $10 million from former campaign consultant Sam Nunberg, who Trump says allegedly leaked confidential information despite signing a nondisclosure agreement, Nunberg’s lawyer told BuzzFeed News Wednesday.
The lawyer, Andrew Miltenberg, said Trump's side believes Nunberg leaked a story in the New York Post about campaign spokesperson Hope Hicks and former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski arguing on the street.
"We believe that everything they’re complaining about is factually false," Miltenberg said. "We deny leaking anything."
In Trump's arbitration documents filed on July 11, Trump accuses Nunberg of leaking information about the campaign to various outlets in a “calculated, willful and malicious scheme,” referring to Nunberg’s alleged activities as “brazen.” The complaint cites several different stories including the New York Post story regarding Hicks and Lewandowski and a GQ profile of Hicks in which Nunberg said of Lewandowski that he would “suck the fucking blood out of his skull.”
In Nunberg’s affidavit, he denies having leaked the “embarrassing and lurid” allegd confrontation between Hicks and Lewandowski, but says that even if he had done so it would not have violated any confidentiality agreement with the Exploratory Committee or with Trump.
Neither Hicks nor Lewandowski responded to requests for comment on the allegations referenced in the lawsuit. In his petition, Nunberg's lawyer alleges that the campaign is making a "misguided attempt to cover up media coverage of an apparent affair its former campaign manager was witnessed as having with a Trump Campaign female staffer," referring to the New York Post story.
Trump’s initial demand was made in May in an arbitration proceeding brought by Trump for President, his 2016 campaign. The proceedings were closed because of questions about whether the agreement permitted arbitration.
"We tried to keep the arbitration from happening because really what it is is a sort of a backhanded sort of way to try to silence Mr Nunberg," Miltenberg said.
The proceedings were reopened this week, brought under a different entity —Trump 2012 PCA. Under that agreement, there was an arbitration clause.
That latest move led Nunberg to file a legal action against Trump this week, asking New York courts to stop the arbitration proceeding from going forward.
Nunberg was fired from the campaign in August 2015 after racist messages he had written on Facebook surfaced. A request for comment from the Trump campaign was not immediately returned.
News of Trump's legal action broke as the Republican National Committee kicked off its summer meeting ahead of the convention. When asked by BuzzFeed News about the case and its timing, most said they weren't aware of it and declined to comment.
Steve House, chairman of the Colorado GOP, said he didn't think it would hurt Trump. "Do most people even know what an NDA is?," he said. "I like that Donald Trump enforces the rules."
Here are the court documents, including Trump's arbitration claim:
Rosie Gray is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C. Gray reports on politics and foreign policy.
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Chris Geidner is the legal editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC. In 2014, Geidner won the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association award for journalist of the year.
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Mary Ann Georgantopoulos is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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