Judge: Trump can’t enforce NDA signed by 2016 campaign staffer

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US District Judge Paul Gardephe rules that nondisclosure agreements signed by some of Trump’s 2016 campaign staffers were too vague to be enforceable.

The contracts in question forbid staffers from sharing details publicly, not just about the campaign but about Donald Trump, his family, and his businesses. In her class-action lawsuit, former staffer Jessica Denson argued that the language in the NDAs was “unduly burdensome” and prevents her and her colleagues from discussing “matters of public interest.”

It is difficult if not impossible for Denson or another Campaign employee to know whether any speech might be covered by one of the broad categories of restricted information; whether that speech might relate to one of the several hundred potential subjects of the non-disclosure provision; or whether that speech may relate to a matter that President Trump will determine is confidential.

US District Judge Paul Gardephe

Judge Gardephe’s decision only affects Denson’s 2016 NDA. But since she filed the case as a class action, her lawyers can try to extend the decision to all campaign staffers who signed the same contract.

This… former president spent all four years aspiring to autocracy while claiming that he was champion of freedom and free speech. … There’s many people out there who have seen cases like mine and were terrified to speak out.

Nicole Denson, speaking to Politico

Denson was the campaign’s Hispanic outreach director. She initially filed a lawsuit against the campaign in 2017 alleging sexual harassment and discrimination. The campaign said her lawsuit violated the NDA, and she was ordered to pay $50,000. That’s why she later filed the class action, arguing that the terms of the NDA were too broad and prevented staff from speaking about their time on the campaign “forever.”

External Sources

Politico (Archived)

Buzzfeed (Archived)

Salon (Archived)

Business Insider (Archived)

Photo: Michael Vadon

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