The American Arbitration Association arbitrator in New York on Tuesday denied arguments by Trump’s attorneys that the former aide acted in bad faith during and after the trial.
“The Respondent was defending a claim that was extensively litigated for over three years, against an opponent who undoubtedly had far greater resources than the Respondent,” Brown wrote in the decision. “This award is in full settlement of all remaining claims that have not yet been settled in this arbitration.”
John Phillips, Manigault Newman’s attorney, claimed in a statement to The Washington Post that the order is “the largest known attorney’s fee award against a political campaign or a president that we can find.” Phillips said he hopes the order “sends a message that armed litigation will not be tolerated and empowers fellow 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 be donating a portion of the proceeds to groups that oppose speech suppression,” he said.
A Trump spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment early Thursday.
The order comes the same week that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Trump alleging that Clinton, the Democratic National Committee and others “maliciously conspired to weave a false narrative” that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential race. no merit as a trial and should be dismissed with prejudice”.
Clinton asks judge to dismiss Trump’s 2016 election lawsuit
Trump made more headlines on Wednesday when he walked out of an interview with Piers Morgan after the British broadcaster challenged him over his false claims about widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election. Morgan told Trump, who perpetuated widely denied claims that voter fraud cost him his re-election, that he failed to produce “hard evidence” of voter fraud, prompting the former president to lash out, according to the New York Post.
Trump walks out of interview after being challenged over false claims of voter fraud
Manigault Newman signed a nondisclosure agreement when she joined Trump’s campaign in 2016. She joined the White House as a senior executive, but was fired in December 2017 by the White House chief of staff , John F. Kelly.
The following year, Manigault Newman published “Unhinged,” which portrayed Trump as unqualified, narcissistic and racist. Several anecdotes made national headlines, including one in which Manigault Newman says she caught Trump eating a piece of paper in the Oval Office. She also alleged there were tapes showing Trump using racial slurs, but Manigault Newman did not provide evidence.
Trump’s campaign quickly filed an arbitration suit, arguing that Manigault Newman violated a “confidential information” non-disclosure agreement. But last year Brown dismissed Trump’s argument because “confidential” was too broad a term – defined as meaning “all information…that Mr. Trump insists should be kept private”.
On Tuesday, Brown asked the Trump campaign to pay Manigault Newman more than $1.3 million in legal fees and other expenses. Manigault Newman originally asked to be awarded more than $3.4 million, but Brown’s $1.3 million order was based on his attorney’s billable hours, the filing said.
“However, the $1.3 million pales in comparison to the $3-4 million the Trump campaign paid its own lawyers to suppress speech,” Phillips said in a statement. “That’s a lot of donations that went to lawyers in the name of politics. It’s really shameful.”
The attorney tweeted a photo of him and Manigault Newman holding copies of the arbitrator’s order.
$1.3 Million in Attorney Fees and Order Against Trump Campaign Issued! (Rating of highest known party attorney’s fees against a president or presidential campaign). A big thank you to @OMAROSA for having believed in us during these three years of trials of armed litigation. pic.twitter.com/iQ4j6Amfxa
— John M. Phillips (@JohnPhillips) April 20, 2022
Manigault Newman has yet to comment publicly on the matter, but has taken Twitter Wednesday to describe the legal battle between her, a freshman law student at Southern University Law Center, and Trump’s legal team as “David versus Goliath.”
“Now forgive me as I resume my studies for my final exam in Contract Law,” she tweeted.
Donna Cassata and Felicia Sonmez contributed to this report.