Jacksonville lawyer to handle Trump vs. Omarosa case

John Phllips says handling a case involving the president takes resources

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The nation knows Omarosa Manigault Newman's story as a former contestant on "The Apprentice" who is now a former and scorned member of President Donald Trump's administration.

Jacksonville residents know her as the wife of Pastor John Allen Newman, of Mount Calvary Temple. 

Jacksonville attorney John Phillips knows her as his client.

"So Omarosa and I met about 2012 on the set of a national show talking about gun violence, because her brother was killed," Phillips told News4Jax. "We were talking about Jordan Davis, obviously. So, we kind of met on the national stage, and here we are again on the national stage, working together."

Manigault Newman recently released salacious recordings she said she made inside the White House and is making serious accusations against Trump in a tell-all book -- "Unhinged: An Insider’s account of the Trump White House" -- and on television interviews. She said she has known Trump for 15 years and worked for his administration for 11 months.  

Trump has been very vocal and public in refuting her claims and questioning her character.

The Trump campaign has filed an arbitration case against Manigault Newman, alleging that she violated a confidentiality agreement. 

Phillips said there are challenges in handling this case.

"Anytime the defendant is the president of the United States, there’s a resource challenge. There’s always going to be a resource challenge because we’re talking about a billionaire that has the ability to spin whatever he needs to spin and has the pulpit of the American people," Phillips said. "It’s the most serious defendant one can imagine."

With a background of mostly litigating criminal and personal injury cases, this is new territory for Phillips.

"We also do civil rights and constitutional law. We’ve been known for representing the interests of people’s Fourth Amendment rights, and this is a First Amendment right case. This is a constitutional case as well, because we’re talking about speech and the government’s ability to put an order on that."

Phillips said he is working on building a team of lawyers to help him handle this case.

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