Former White House communications aide and "Team of Vipers" author Cliff Sims is suing President Trump and the federal government, claiming the president and his administration are "intentionally" and "unconstitutionally" trying to silence him.
Sims' attorney, Mark S. Zaid, told MSNBC that federal employees have a First Amendment right to publish unclassified material and that his client's book did not have anything that was classified.
It claims that the USA government, "for the first time ever through the use of private surrogates, is seeking to unconstitutionally censor and punish a former federal employee for disclosing unclassified information outlining what he saw and observed during his time in the White House".
Sims also asserts that Trump appears to have been arbitrarily enforcing nondisclosure agreements.
The White House had dozens of people sign such agreements at the beginning of the president's term.
"A low level staffer that I hardly knew named Cliff Sims wrote yet another boring book based on made up stories and fiction", Trump tweeted on January 29.
"It's our understanding from sources that the president was consulted and instructed the campaign should proceed with the arbitration", Zaid said.
The Trump re-election campaign filed a private arbitration suit against Sims on January 31 over his book allegedly violating a non-disclosure agreement he signed upon joining the 2016 presidential bid.
Cliff Sims filed a lawsuit Monday in federal court in Washington.
According to Sims" lawsuit, the campaign later filed a demand for arbitration that seeks monetary damages, the return of materials from his tenure, and from making "disparaging statements" or "commenting further regarding "confidential' information derived from his time in the White House". Most legal experts say such agreements are not enforceable for public employees; nonetheless, dozens of White House aides have signed NDAs in exchange for working with Trump.