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Trump campaign lawyers seek to quit discrimination case

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Presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures in a press conference unveiling his comprehensive tax reform plan at Trump Tower. 

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A federal judge in New York scheduled a closed-door meeting Wednesday afternoon on a request by lawyers for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign to withdraw from a gender discrimination lawsuit filed by former senior advisor to his 2016 White House bid.

The law firm at LaRocca, Hornik, Greenberg, Kittredge, Carlin & McPartland asked to withdraw from the case filed by Arlene “A.J.” Delgado last Friday in a court motion, because of what it called “an irreparable breakdown in the attorney-client relationship between the Firm and the Campaign.”

The filings said the firm “respectfully requests leave to explain to the Court in camera” the details of that breakdown.

In camera proceedings are conducted by judges without members of the public or press present.

Magistrate Judge Katharine Parker said she would conduct an in camera conference on the firm’s request starting at 3 p.m. ET Wednesday “with the defendants and their attorneys.” Parker’s notice indicated that Delgado was not invited to the conference.

Delgado’s suit, filed in 2019, alleges that she was stripped of her job responsibilities as advisor and director of Hispanic outreach for Trump’s campaign in late 2016 and prevented from taking an expected job in the White House because of her disclosure that she had become pregnant by the then- and now-Trump campaign advisor Jason Miller.

The suit also claims the defendants reneged on an agreement in 2017 to privately settle her complaint for an undisclosed amount of money.

Delgado told Magistrate Judge Katharine Parker in a filing Monday that she objected to LaRocca, Hornik’s motion to withdraw from the case. Defendants include Donald J. Trump For President, Inc., former Trump White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, former White House advisor Steve Bannon and former White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

“The Firm has represented the Trump Campaign in this matter since July 2017 – i.e., for nearly seven years,” wrote Delgado, who is representing herself in the suit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

“Yet, it abruptly filed a Motion to Withdraw on Friday afternoon, April 26, 2024: (a) with only six days remaining in discovery; and (b) a mere two days after the Campaign was ordered to produce key information to Plaintiff, and with said information due this week.”

Delgado noted that on April 24, Parker had granted her request that Trump’s campaign “must produce any complaints of: gender discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, and sexual harassment, through the 2020-election cycle.”

Delgado said the timing of the withdrawal motion “stinks to high heaven.”

“What happened between Wednesday and Friday that caused a sudden ‘irreparable breakdown’ with the client, allegedly leaving the Firm no choice but to withdraw?” Delgado wrote.

CNBC has requested comment from Blumetti, and from a spokesman for Trump’s current campaign for president.

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