Judges ruling on Trump campaign’s NDA may spell trouble for the case against Omarosa

[sharenow]

A federal judge’s ruling on a an arbitration claim against President Trump’s campaign may spell trouble for the case against Omarosa Manigault Newman.

Trump campaign lawyers filed for an arbitration in New York last week saying the former White House aide violated an agreement she signed when joining the 2016 campaign, but a judge’s ruling in another ongoing case raises some questions about the legality of the documents, according to Law & Crime.

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In a lawsuit involving former campaign staffer Jessica Denson, who alleges she was harassed and bullied by the Trump campaign,  Judge Arlene Bluth ruled that her non-disclosure agreement did not specify that the case could be moved to private arbitration.

“As an initial matter, the Court observes that the arbitration clause confines arbitration to ‘any dispute arising under or relating to this agreement,’” Judge Arlene Bluth wrote. “It does not require arbitration for any ‘dispute between the parties’ or even ‘any dispute arising out of plaintiff’s employment’ [emphasis hers].”

If Manigault Newman’s non-disclosure agreement reads the same as Denson’s, the judge’s ruling would effectively be the same. “In other words, the agreement might bring up arbitration as a possibility, but it does not require that process,” according to Law & Crime.

Attorney and Law&Crime columnist Elura Nanos questioned whether the NDA with Manigault Newman, who worked for the Trump campaign before being named White House Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison, was legal in the first place.

“Trump may think Omarosa is another Stormy Daniels – but there’s a big difference. Omarosa was a federal employee. There is literally so much wrong with the idea of an Omarosa NDA that it’s hard to know where to begin,” Nanos wrote in an op-ed for Law & Crime last week, adding that “it wouldn’t be legal for a White House staffer to sign an NDA.”

“Even if Omarosa did sign an NDA, it probably wouldn’t protect Trump from anything she said about him in her new book,” Nanos argued. “Sure, it’s true that the Omarosa-Trump NDA appears to have been made with the Trump campaign – and not the White House itself, which is certainly different. But at the end of the day, what we have is a president attempting to use a legal contract to silence a former federal employee about her experience working in the White House.”

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Frieda Powers

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