U.S. President Donald Trump’s former White House chief of staff is under federal investigation for allegedly lying about being paid millions of dollars for a television show.
Robert Gibbs was fired on Tuesday by the president’s former press secretary, Sean Spicer, after an investigation by the Justice Department found that he misled reporters about his pay and the value of a contract to produce a reality TV show.
Trump has not yet responded to the investigation.
Spicer, who also worked for former President Barack Obama, has denied wrongdoing.
“The President has directed that Mr. Gibbs be terminated for his willful disregard for the truth, and his lack of honesty and trust of the American people,” Spicer said in a statement.
Gibbs is facing two federal lawsuits from the media and one from the President’s former chief of team, White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
In one lawsuit, the former Spicer aide alleges he was misled into signing a $600,000 contract for the show, “The President’s Real America,” to appear on the Fox News Channel, a project of Fox News.
The president’s lawyer, Jay Sekulow, said he is “not aware of any evidence that Mr Gibbs had knowledge of or participated in any effort to deceive anyone regarding his payments for the program.”
Gibbys lawyers filed a complaint in federal court in New York City on Tuesday against Trump’s then-press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, alleging Grishams actions and the president were “wilful and malicious.”
Grischam resigned from the Trump White House in September 2018.
She did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.
The Justice Department investigation into Gibbs and Grishas work for Fox News came to light last week after The Associated Press obtained emails and memos that showed Gibbs’ White House communications team was negotiating with the network about hosting the program.
The emails and documents show that Fox News had been working on a show called “The White House Correspondents Dinner,” which was to air in December 2017.
Grisham had signed the contract for Fox to host the event, and Fox had negotiated with Gibbs and other senior staff to create a “bargain” deal.
Fox was supposed to air the program in December, and the show would be a prime-time showcase for Trump.
But in early December, Grishum wrote in an email to Gibbs and her husband, that Fox was considering canceling the event because “the President is not happy with the ratings.”
Ginsberg told Gibbs in an October email that Fox would “need to take a good hard look at the show” and “find a way to not ruin our future.”
The emails show Grishamp to have told Gibbs that she and her wife would be fired if Fox didn’t cancel the event.
Fox declined to comment.
Ginsbys legal team said on Wednesday that Gibbs had “repeatedly lied to the President, the press, and reporters about the value and value of his payments to the media.”
They also pointed to Gibbs’ claim that he had received a $60,000 bonus for the deal that he signed in October.
In a statement to Reuters, Gibbs said he “does not recall ever receiving any money for the contract.”
Gobbs said that he would have “no comment” about the Justice Dept. investigation.
“I have no further comment at this time,” Gibbs said.
Trump’s legal team has said that it will file a civil lawsuit against Gibbs over the matter, which could bring the President himself to the case.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the President has a criminal case against him,” Trump’s legal counsel Marc Kasowitz said in an interview with NBC News.
“He was fired for lying about it.”