I’m seeing a lot of book deals for the hundreds of former staffers for Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign after a judge issued an order this week to officially void the terms of their non-disclosure and non-disparagement agreements. The biggest blabbermouth in politics had others sign NDAs. That will never not be weird.
Law & Crime reports:
Thursday’s order from U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe in the Southern District of New York formalizes a settlement with the campaign that was tentatively struck in January and then largely approved in June.
The ruling was a long time coming for Jessica Denson, a former Hispanic outreach director for Trump’s 2016 campaign. She first launched the class-action claim in 2019, but that lawsuit itself only came after she went it alone in 2018 and sued to escape her NDA.
Denson alleged the terms were overly restrictive and meant to silence her as well as retaliate against her for her raising a sexual harassment claim against a campaign supervisor in 2017.
In the class-action lawsuit, staffers argued the non-disclosure agreements encroached on “broad categories of communications and actions” that would have otherwise been protected constitutional activities. Specifically, the contracts barred staffers from speaking up even in the event of workplace misconduct.
Anything deemed confidential by the campaign was off limits too, but what “confidential” meant was ill-defined, according to Denson. It could mean discussing anything related to the “personal and business affairs of Trump or his family members” and not just while in the campaign’s employ but effectively in perpetuity.
“We just achieved a huge victory for free speech in the face of a wannabe authoritarian who threatens American democracy to this day,” Denson said in a statement.
Trump declared in 2019 that he was “the most transparent president” in history. Like with everything else Trump says, that was a lie.
Trump has widely used NDA for staff and associates for decades. And Trump’s campaign and presidency were cloaked in secrecy.
This is how he kicked off his relationship with the press in early 2017.