Sam Nunberg, a former staffer for Donald Trump, fired back against the prospective GOP presidential nominee’s lawsuit against him by alleging that Trump illegally created a fictitious company and also illegally mingled corporate and campaign funds.
Nunberg’s action was taken in response to a $10 million lawsuit that Trump filed against him which was made public on Wednesday. Trump’s lawsuit claimed that Nunberg violated a confidentiality agreement with Trump by informing the New York Post that campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks and Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, had had a public screaming match. That story was published in the Post’s Page Six, on May 19, 2016 in an article entitled “Trump Campaign Staffers Get into Public Screaming Match” by Emily Smith.
Nunberg denied that he had leaked the story to the Post, adding that any confidentiality agreement he had reached with Trump had been long defunct by May because he left the Trump campaign in the summer of 2015.
In the legal filings Nunberg’s attorneys filed with the Supreme Court of the state of New York, they begin by asserting that the Trump campaign is paranoid, and that’s the reason they filed the suit to begin with:
Despite the fact that Mr. Nunberg has no written agreement to arbitrate with the Trump Campaign and the controlling Consulting Agreement requires that disputes be heard in a New York Court, in retaliation for his change of political opinion and the free exercise of his First Amendment right to abandon his political backing of Mr. Trump and to endorse U.S. Senator Ted Cruz publicly, which he did, the Trump Campaign is attempting to bring a frivolous and retaliatory arbitration proceeding against him and to stifle his free speech. Further, the Trump Campaign initiated this abusive and frivolous harassment of Mr. Nunberg in order to bludgeon Mr. Nunberg with a private arbitration proceeding in a misguided attempt to silence media coverage of a loud and angry argument witnessed by others on a public street between a former Trump Campaign staffer and another staffer, as reported in the New York Post, Page Six, on May 19, 2016 in an article entitled “Trump Campaign Staffers Get into Public Screaming Match” by Emily Smith. Mr. Nunberg did not place that article in the New York Post concerning that event, although as reflected in the Statement of Claim, the Trump Campaign, for some paranoid reason, believes he did.
The filings argue that Nunberg was not bound by any confidentiality agreement: “Not only did that incident take place outside the scope of and long after the termination of Mr. Nunberg’s political consulting relationship with the Trump Campaign, there were numerous witnesses and sources for that tawdry tabloid story. In sum, there is no basis for the Trump Campaign to harass Mr. Nunberg with a frivolous arbitration proceeding seeking $10 million to be awarded to it against him by an arbitrator with absolutely no good faith basis in law or fact since Mr. Nunberg never agreed to arbitrate anything with the Trump Campaign.”
Nunberg’s attorneys then state that the Trump campaign and Nunberg had decided to resolve the matter one month ago so Trump’s campaign against Hillary Clinton would prevail: “Mr. Nunberg agreed to a standstill agreement with the Trump Campaign in mid-June in order to have this matter resolved without any public knowledge as the Trump Campaign’s abuse of the star chamber of arbitration would be detrimental in stopping Hillary Clinton from becoming the 45th President of the United States.”
Then came the bombshell:
During this entire period, the Trump Campaign may very well have violated Federal Election Law by co-mingling corporate resources and failing to file the costs and expenditures the Trump Campaign has already incurred this past May and June. True to form, the Trump Campaign continued its assault on Mr. Nunberg’s constitutionally guaranteed rights of free speech, public participation and freedom of association instead of negotiating in good faith during that hiatus. When Mr. Nunberg refused to kowtow to the Trump Campaign’s draconian demands that would deprive Mr. Nunberg of not only his constitutionally protected rights, but also his ability to make a living, the Trump Campaign reinstated its vindictive arbitration under the fictitious and non-existent alleged entity “Trump 2012 PCA.” Not only is proceeding with this fictitious so-called entity an abuse of process, the Trump Campaign’s conducting business in that fashion is illegal.
The explanation of the illegality:
New York General Business Law § 130 (1) provides that “[n]o person shall hereafter (i) carry on or conduct or transact business in this state under any name or designation other than his or its real name, ”unless acknowledged certificates are filed in the county clerk’s office where the business is conducted identifying the persons conducting such business in under that name. Additionally, New York General Business Law § 130 (9) provides that any person who knowingly fails to comply with this provision is guilty of a misdemeanor and that “carrying on, conducting or transacting business as aforesaid who fails to comply with the provisions of this section shall be prohibited from maintaining any action or proceeding in any court in this state on any contract, account or transaction made in a name other than its real name until the certificate required by this section has been executed and filed in accordance with the provisions set forth herein.” Since the Trump Campaign through the ultra vires entity, Trump 2012 PCA, has failed to comply with General Business Law § 130, he should not be permitted to conduct business by pursuing arbitration against Mr. Nunberg.
“During this entire period, the Trump Campaign may very well have violated Federal Election Law by co-mingling corporate resources and failing to file the costs and expenditures the Trump Campaign has already incurred this past May and June.”
Legal Filings from Sam Nunberg, former staffer to Donald Trump
The documents then argue that the fictitious company was, in fact, illegal:
Trump 2012 PCA is neither a legal entity authorized by the Department of State to do business in the State of New York nor an assumed name for a legal entity or individual authorized to do business in the State of New York under the provisions of General Business Law § 130. Nor has Trump 2012 PCA filed required certificates in the county clerk’s offices as required for its principal to legally conduct business under that assumed name.
An advisor to Trump admitted that the initial lawsuit that Trump filed against Nunberg was instigated by Lewandowski so that his affair with Hicks would not go public. The advisor said, “Corey egged him on this suit,” and once it was filed, the adviser said, “Trump never backs down.” The advisor warned, “Nunberg will go for Trump’s throat. This is going to be all-out war. This is going to be ugly.”