Lawsuit: Trump campaign failed to act after staffer pulled gun
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A lawsuit filed by a former staffer on Donald J. Trump's campaign for president claims the campaign's then-North Carolina State Director pulled a gun on him and senior campaign officials refused to do anything about it.
The lawsuit was filed by Vincent Bordini, whom the complaint refers to as a loyal Trump Campaign staffer, in Mecklenburg County Superior Court on Wednesday. Donald J. Trump for President, Inc and Earl Phillip, the campaign's former North Carolina State Director, are named as defendants in the lawsuit.
According to the complaint, Bordini and Phillip were driving in Phillip's Jeep when Phillip "produced a pistol, put his right index finger on the trigger, and drove the barrel into Vincent's knee cap."
The complaint, filed by attorney Sean Herrmann with the Van Kampen Law firm, says the two men were driving to check on campaign volunteers at a hotel in Greenville, SC on February 13, 2016 during the GOP primary when the incident happened.
"Phillip pushed the barrel into Vincent's knee. The barrel's pressure crinkled Vincent's blue jeans. Phillip ominously stared sidewise at Vincent while driving the Jeep down the road and the barrel into Vincent," the complaint claims. "Vincent froze. Phillip's gun was loaded and the safety was off. A bump in the road would likely result in a bullet hole, and worse, in Vincent's knee."
In an interview with WBTV Thursday, Bordini said the incident began nearly as quickly as it had started.
"I asked him what he was doing and he put it away and that was it," Bordini said. "There wasn't anything heated or anything like that. It was just kind of ominous. You know, that's it."
The lawsuit says Bordini reported the incident to the campaign's western North Carolina regional director that same night. According to the lawsuit, the regional director told Bordini that Phillip had previously done the same thing to him.
The complaint says Bordini then reported the incident to Stuart Jolly, who is described as the Trump Campaign's national field director. Nothing happened, according to the lawsuit.
Then, the lawsuit alleges, Bordini had a telephone conversation with then-Trump Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski on March 9, 2016 in which he reported the gun incident.
"Lewandowski said that he took Vincent's complaint seriously," the lawsuit says. "Upon information and belief, Lewandowski did nothing to correct Phillip's brazen behavior. He certainly didn't suspend or terminate him."
Bordini's lawsuit claims at least two other campaign members also had a gun pulled on them by Phillip.
"Others detailed something different. They described Phillip yelling and screaming in anger while brandishing a pistol," the lawsuit claims.
Bordini said he did not file a police report at the time of the incident because he hoped to resolve the matter within the campaign, without attracting publicity.
"I figured the campaign would handle it and that hasn't happened and here we are," he said. "It's a nightmare that we're here."
A spokeswoman for the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. Phillips did not immediately respond to voicemail messages left at two numbers listed for his consulting company.
Phillip was replaced as North Carolina state director by the Trump campaign last week and reportedly resigned from the Trump campaign entirely on Thursday.
Copyright 2016 WBTV. All rights reserved.