Former Donald Trump adviser Jason Miller and his lawyers have begun subpoenaing political journalists in a $100 million lawsuit over a story that reported a claim that Miller drugged a woman and caused her to miscarry, The Daily Beast has learned.
On Tuesday, J. Arthur Bloom, a journalist and former opinion editor at The Daily Caller, provided The Daily Beast with a copy of a “subpoena to produce documents” from Miller’s legal team.
The subpoena demands any related “communications, messages, emails, texts, direct messages, social media posts or messages, Facebook messages, tweets, and/or similar documents, whether in hard copy or electronic form, between” Bloom and Miller’s former lover and Trump campaign colleague A.J. Delgado, Splinter reporter Katherine Krueger, comedy podcast host Will Menaker, and others.
The subpoena also requests “all of your Facebook messages to any woman or women related to any personal or sexual relationships with Jason Miller.”
The defamation suit is the latest chapter of a protracted custody battle between Miller and Delgado over their young son. Miller had an extramarital affair with Delgado during the 2016 presidential campaign. After she went public with their affair and the news of their child a month before President Trump’s inauguration, Miller backed out of a senior White House position.
The story at the center of the latest legal action was published by the website Splinter in September. Titled “Court Docs Allege Ex-Trump Staffer Drugged Woman He Got Pregnant With ‘Abortion Pill,’” the story cited a court filing in the bitter custody battle between Miller and Delgado which included an explosive claim that Miller previously had a fling with a stripper, impregnated her, and secretly put an “abortion pill” in her smoothie, causing her to miscarry.
Miller vehemently denied the allegation and by the end of 2018, he had filed a lawsuit against Gizmodo Media Group and Krueger.
Menaker, co-host of the socialist comedy podcast Chapo Trap House and Krueger’s boyfriend, was subsequently added to the defamation suit last year after he posted a tweet calling Miller a “rat faced baby killer and Trump PR homunculus” who is “suing my girlfriend for $100 million, cool!”
In the initial filing, Miller claimed Delgado had approached several members of the media, including Bloom, in an effort to plant the story. Those outlets apparently declined to publish it before Splinter ultimately did.
Menaker lawyer Max Mishkin declined to comment on this story. Delgado, Krueger’s legal counsel, and Miller’s legal team did not respond to requests for comment as of press time.
Miller’s subpoenas could provide a window into the degree to which the allegations were spread, and who found them credible. Whether that information will ultimately be discovered is another question entirely.
In a written statement shared with The Daily Beast, Bloom indicated he had no intention of complying with the demands.
“I object to the subpoena I was served with the evening of February 5, at 9 PM at my home,” the formal response read. “Under the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 45, a subpoena shall be quashed or modified if it ‘requires the disclosure of privileged or otherwise protected material.’”
Bloom writes that any information he may have relevant to this suit would have been “developed in my capacity as a professional journalist” for a story he “did not run with.”
Bloom told The Daily Beast that when a process server called him roughly a week ago, the server asked Bloom if he “knew where to find” journalist Yashar Ali “because he was supposed to get [a subpoena], too.”
A freelancer who writes extensively for HuffPost, Ali was identified in the suit as another person who had allegedly communicated with Delgado for a story he never published. He declined to comment for this story.
Miller, who served as a top Trump aide during the 2016 campaign and the presidential transition, has already subpoenaed Delgado to try to get her to hand over any communications she had with Ali, Bloom, Krueger, as well as reporters at other media outlets, according to court records. But his attempt to force Delgado to comply with the subpoena failed after Delgado objected, although he and his lawyers could attempt to get the documents later in the discovery process.
Miller’s attorneys, Ken Turkel and Shane Vogt, were part of the team led by Charles Harder that represented Hulk Hogan in a suit that brought down Gawker, the direct precursor to Gizmodo and Splinter. Harder is a lawyer for Miller’s ex-boss, President Trump, and the lawsuit against Gawker was covertly bankrolled by billionaire Peter Thiel, another prominent Trump ally.