Federal judge rules Trump cannot enforce nondisclosure agreements signed by his 2016 campaign staff
- Federal judge ruled that Donald Trump cannot enforce a nondisclosure agreement that he required his campaign employees to sign
- District Court Judge Paul Gardephe, an appointee of President George W. Bush, said the language was too broad and unenforceable
- “So the nondisclosure provision is much broader than what the Campaign claims to be necessary to protect its legitimate interests, and is therefore not reasonable,” he ruled.
- The problem arose when Jessica Denson, a Spanish outreach director for Trump in 2016, accused the campaign of gender discrimination in a separate lawsuit
- In return, the campaign accused her of breaching secrecy
A federal judge on Tuesday struck Donald Trump a blow when he ruled that a nondisclosure agreement requiring the president to sign campaign workers was too broad and unenforceable.
District Court Judge Paul Gardephe, an appointee of President George W. Bush, said the language in the agreement was so vague as to be invalid under New York contract law.
“So the nondisclosure provision is much broader than what the Campaign claims to be necessary to protect its legitimate interests, and is therefore not reasonable,” he wrote.
The disclosure agreement, which campaign personnel had to sign, became a problem when Jessica Denson, a Spanish outreach director for Trump in 2016, accused the campaign of sex discrimination in a separate lawsuit. In return, the campaign accused her of violating the nondisclosure agreement she signed.
Gardephe also said the secrecy suppressed freedom of speech.
“The Campaign’s previous attempts to enforce the nondisclosure and non-disparaging provisions show that it is not acting in good faith to protect what it has identified as legitimate interests,” Gardephe said. “The evidence before the Court shows instead that the Campaign has repeatedly attempted to enforce the nondisclosure and non-disparaging provisions to suppress statements it deems detrimental to its interests.”
Denson praised the verdict.
“I’m over the moon,” she said Politics“This president… former president strived for autocracy every four years while claiming to be a champion of freedom and freedom of speech. … There are many people who have seen cases like mine and were terrified to speak out. ‘
A federal judge ruled that Donald Trump cannot enforce the nondisclosure agreement he required his campaign employees to sign – above can be seen Trump visiting his campaign headquarters in Virginia to thank the staff on November 3, 2020
Jessica Denson, a Hispanic outreach director for Trump in 2016, sued to scrap nondisclosure agreement
But Trump’s team disagreed with the finding.
“We believe the court made the wrong decision and President Trump’s lawyers are investigating all possible appeals,” a Trump employee told Politico.
Trump’s campaign had won a $ 50,000 award against Denson after claiming she violated the confidentiality agreement when she first said she had been assaulted and harassed by another campaign executive. That award was overturned by a court in New York last year.
She then sued that the nondisclosure agreement was thrown out.
The ruling only applies to Denson, but can be extended to other assistants.
She claimed non-disclosures such as Trump’s “ repressed public debate. ”
“Only the terms of the NDA were hugely restrictive and it completely stifled the public debate, a truthful public debate about the Trump campaign and the presidency, so this is a huge victory,” Denson told Politico. “ NDAs like these are part of the reason we got run for and presidency for Donald Trump in the first place. ”
Trump in his years as a businessman in New York City required employees to sign nondisclosure agreements, a practice he carried over to his 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns.
Donald Trump in his years as a businessman in New York City demanded that employees sign nondisclosure agreements, a practice he carried over to his 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns and to the White House
He also demanded that White House staff sign them, even when supporters of the First Amendment warned that it was unconstitutional to make such a demand on officials paid with taxpayer dollars.
Trump’s Justice Department tried to enforce such an agreement on Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former aide to Melania Trump who was accused of violating her nondisclosure agreement when she wrote an all-encompassing book about the former first lady.
The suit was seen in retaliation for Melania Trump’s unflattering portrayal in her book ‘Melania & Me’.
President Joe Biden’s Justice Department dropped that lawsuit in February.