June 25 (UPI) -- The Justice Department is suing former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman for failing to file a personal financial report following her termination in 2017.
In the civil complaint, filed Tuesday with the U.S. District Court in Washington, the Justice Department said that Newman failed to file the financial disclosure report despite having been informed of the requirement before her termination and sent several emails following vacating the position as director of Communications in the Office of Public Liaison in the White House, an Executive Branch position.
The complaint is brought against Newman under the Ethics in Government Act "for civil penalties for knowingly and willfully failing to file the required public financial disclosure report after he employment terminated with the Executive Office of the President."
Her lawyer, John Phillips, called the lawsuit "premature" and the accusation that she willfully failed to file the report "untrue."
Phillips said in a statement that the documents requested were seized by the White House after Newman's termination and she had discussed with the administration via emails and phone calls that she needed the contents from seven boxes taken from her office to complete the form.
"We requested an extension until her documents could be returned," he said. "However, despite my client's best efforts, the Department of Justice or the White House continues to withhold these documents, which are needed to complete the disclosure."
He accused the White House of using the Justice Department to retaliate against his client.
"This is premature, retaliatory and yet another attempt to silence a dissenting voice," he said.
The lawsuit seeks up to $50,000 in a civil penalty plus the required termination financial disclosure report.
The former "The Apprentice" contestant served in the White House for about a year before she was fired by John Kelly, then-chief of staff.
Following her termination, she released a memoir, "Unhinged: An Insiders Account of the Trump White House," which Trump administration officials denounced.
President Donald Trump then attacked his long-time ally after the book was published, calling her a "dog" and "a crazed lowlife."