The Department of Justice filed a civil lawsuit on Tuesday against Omarosa Manigault Newman, a former Apprentice star who was a close advisor to Donald Trump for years, accusing her of not completing a financial disclosure after she was fired from the White House.

In a complaint filed in a Washington court this week, the DOJ claimed that Manigault Newman failed to complete the required paperwork after she was fired as communications director for the Office of Public Liaison in 2017, despite multiple emails from the administration reminding her to do so. Such documents are required for every government employee who leaves their job, and the DOJ is seeking a $50,000 fine from Manigault Newman.

The former Trump advisor’s lawyer, John Phillips, has accused the Justice Department of using the suit as a means of getting petty revenge against Manigault Newman, who has become a prominent critic of Trump in recent years. In 2018 Manigault Newman released a book about the Trump White House, calling it “the most chaotic, outrageous” administration in history.


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Her lawyer continued on to assert that his client had been unable to complete the required forms as she did not have access to many of the records that she needed to do so. Manigault Newman reportedly requested access to “seven boxes” of documents that were still being kept in the White House. Administration staffers allegedly agreed to hand over the information on May 10, months after the deadline to complete the financial disclosure had passed. Phillips has stated that Manigault Newman has yet to receive any of the promised records, leaving her unable to do as the DOJ requires.

Phillips’ accusation that the White House is using bureaucracy as a form of revenge seems plausible when compared to the DOJ’s past actions. The Trump administration has repeatedly let mistakes from its allies slide, such as its decision not to prosecute White House counselor Kellyanne Conway over her violations of the Hatch Act, making the sudden decision to pursue Manigault Newman over missing paperwork suspicious.

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