- The Washington Times - Monday, February 11, 2019

The author of “Team of Vipers” is suing President Trump, accusing the president of using his campaign as an improper “cutout” to punish ex-employees in violation of their free-speech and free-press rights.

Former White House communications aide Cliff Sims had an arbitration claim filed against him last week by the campaign organization that says he violated a nondisclosure agreement he had signed during the 2016 presidential race.

According to a New York Times account of the lawsuit, Mr. Sims claims that Mr. Trump “is seeking to impose civil liability against Mr. Sims through application of NDAs that apply to information Mr. Sims learned solely during his federal service.”

The book includes numerous anecdotal accounts of chaos at the White House and which included unflattering stories about Mr. Trump, which has drawn the president’s social-media wrath.

“A low level staffer that I hardly knew named Cliff Sims wrote yet another boring book based on made up stories and fiction,” Mr. Trump tweeted on Jan. 29, going on to say Mr. Sims “pretended to be an insider when in fact he was nothing more than a gofer.”

Dozens of White House officials have signed non-disclosure agreements, but, according to the Times, they are widely viewed as unenforceable because of government whistleblower protections.

“The Trump campaign’s demand for arbitration is nothing but a subterfuge for the actions of” the federal government, the lawsuit claims, and was “undertaken under express authorization and instruction, and certainly with the blessing of, President Trump.”

According to the Times account of the lawsuit, Mr. Sims “does not recall whether he signed one when he came to the White House.”

Mr. Sims’ lawsuit was filed Monday in federal District Court in Washington, D.C.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide