Court Battles

Omarosa hit with $61K penalty over failure to file financial disclosure

A judge on Tuesday ordered former Trump White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman to pay a $61,000 penalty for failing to file a financial disclosure report after she was fired from her role in the Trump administration.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon denied Manigault Newman’s argument that she was not able to file her financial disclosure report in time because her firing from the White House was so sudden. The former aide claimed that she did not have an opportunity to gather her personal files from the White House, which had information needed for the financial documents, according to Politico.

Additionally, Leon rejected Manigault Newman’s claim that she pushed off filing the financial disclosure report because of a disagreement over her official last day at the White House.

He ordered her to pay $61,585.

The Department of Justice sued Manigault Newman in June 2019 over allegations that she did not file a required financial disclosure report after being fired from the White House. The former communications adviser in the White House Office of Public Liaison was required to submit a financial disclosure report 30 days after being terminated from her post on Dec. 12, 2017, in accordance with the Ethics in Government Act.

She did not, however, submit the necessary documentation until Sept. 11, 2019, despite multiple attempts to encourage her to do so before and after the stated deadline.

Leon, in his ruling, said “There is also no question that Manigault Newman knowingly failed to report,” adding that she “willfully violated” the Ethics in Government Act.

“Manigault Newman was well aware of her obligation to file a Termination Report … having received countless reminders — but nevertheless failed to file her report for more than a year after the statutory deadline,” Leon wrote.

Manigault Newman reacted to the ruling on Twitter, suggesting that her punishment was not warranted considering some government officials are not penalized after violating the Hatch Act, which prohibits government figures from engaging in political activity.

“The question remains… are there two systems of justice in this country,” Manigault Newman wrote. “One that allows those who violate the Hatch Act and Emoluments Clause a slap on wrist and the other that orders an unprecedented fine (highest in history) for an alleged unintentional failing to file a form?”

John Phillips, an attorney for Manigault Newman, told The Hill in a statement he was “stunned” by the ruling and has advised his client to appeal.

“I’ve advised her to appeal. I’m frankly stunned by the ruling,” Phillips said in a statement. “They kept her boxes hostage, which contained the records she needed; while weaponizing litigation against her on multiple fronts. They played games with the system, which is laid out in our Motions and Responses. And a record setting fine as a penalty for public service is beyond inappropriate. Merrick Garland is supposed to be returning stability and reason back to government. This is the opposite of that. They wouldn’t even respond to my requests.”

Manigault Newman, who appeared as a contestant on former President Trump’s television show “The Apprentice” and worked on his 2016 campaign, was fired from her post in the White House in December 2017 by then-chief of staff John Kelly. She later shared that she was recording her conversation with Kelly and eventually released the tapes.

Tags Donald Trump John Kelly Merrick Garland Omarosa Manigault Newman
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