Donald Trump and Ex-Aide Fight Legal Battle Behind Closed Doors

Salacious media reports are at the center of a surreptitious legal battle.
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Donald Trump

Donald Trump and his former campaign consultant Samuel Nunberg are fighting a contentious legal battle behind closed doors.

The Associated Press first reported the spat on Wednesday, saying Trump filed a $10 million arbitration claim against Nunberg for violating his non-disclosure agreement by leaking information to the media. 

Nunberg filed his own petition Tuesday with the New York State Supreme Courts, presumably to move the dispute from private arbitration to open court.

Arbitration by its nature is confidential, but so far much of the legal proceedings have also been shielded from the public. The documents haven't yet been sealed, but several of them are marked "restricted (pending review)" and can only be accessed by those involved in the matter.

New York Daily News reports that Manhattan County Clerk Milton Tingling blocked access to them "by imposing his own 'protocols' which allow his staff to seal documents temporarily when a case is initially filed until a judge rules on a formal sealing request." Multiple calls to the phone number listed for Tingling on the court's website went unanswered and no voicemail is set up. An email to his office has not yet been returned.

What is public: Nunberg’s attorneys have filed a proposed order requesting that the arbitration in this matter “commenced by respondent Trump 2012 PCA before the American Arbitration Association … on or about July 11, 2016, be stayed pending the determination of this application.”

Other public exhibits include a May 19 Page Six story about a screaming match between Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks and then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and a March 28 Politico story in which Nunberg details why he endorsed Ted Cruz after being fired from Trump's campaign. 

Trump isn't shy about turning to social media to confront those who oppose him, but so far he's been mum on this issue, instead directing his angst at Bernie Sanders and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Nunberg’s attorney Andrew Miltenberg has not yet responded to a request for comment. 

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