Judge denies Omarosa Manigault Newman request to depose Trump, John Kelly in lawsuit

A judge on Tuesday ruled that former Trump White House aide Omarosa Manigault NewmanOmarosa Manigault NewmanJudge denies Omarosa Manigault Newman request to depose Trump, John Kelly in lawsuit Tanden seeks to defuse GOP tensions over tweets Juan Williams: The GOP's problem with women of color MORE is not allowed to depose former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE or former Trump chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE in a lawsuit relating to her White House departure in 2018.

In his court opinion, Judge Richard Leon of the D.C. district court denied Newman's request to call Trump or Kelly, as well as any member of the White House counsel's office, to testify.

The lawsuit stems from Manigault Newman's failure to file a financial disclosure form upon being let go from her position as director of communications in the Office of Public Liaison. According to Leon's opinion, former government employees have to file their report within 30 days of departing, which Manigault Newman "knowingly and willingly" failed to do.


For a period of about a year following her termination, various attempts were made to contact the former White House employee about her duties, the complaint alleges. 

The lawsuit was filed against Manigault Newman in June of 2019.

Manigault Newman argued that Trump referred her case to the Department of Justice out of desire to "retaliate" and not on "reasonable cause," and therefore she was justified in deposing him. 

"A party attempting to depose a high-ranking official must demonstrate 'extraordinary circumstances' requiring such deposition," Leon wrote in his opinion. Despite Manigault Newman's argument that neither party is currently in office, Leon still denied her request, ruling that his referral is "irrelevant" to her case.

The "defendant has not carried her burden of demonstrating that deposing former President Trump is appropriate," he ruled.

Manigault Newman sought to depose Kelly because he had "direct knowledge" of the briefings where she was provided with information regarding her obligation. Leon shut down that request as well, saying that she failed to prove that this information about those meetings, where she claims she acted in "good faith" to complete her obligations couldn't be obtained elsewhere.

The Department of Justice is seeking a fine of up to $50,000 against Manigault Newman.