Trump Campaign’s Nondisclosure Agreement Ruled Invalid
A non-disclosure agreement signed by employees during former President Donald Trump‘s 2016 campaign has been ruled unenforceable by a federal judge.
District Court Judge Paul Gardephe‘s ruling on Tuesday states that the language used in the non-disclosure compelling employees to sign was so vague that it was considered invalid under New York contract law.
“The vagueness and breadth of the provision is such that a Campaign employee would have no way of what may be disclosed, and, accordingly, Campaign employees are not free to speak about anything concerning the Campaign,” Gardephe wrote in his decision ruling. “The non-disclosure provision is thus much broader than what the Campaign asserts is necessary to protect its legitimate interests, and therefore, is not reasonable.”
The judge also stated that a non-disparagement clause in the agreement was flawed and failed to operate in “good faith.”
“The evidence before the Court instead demonstrates that the Campaign has repeatedly sought to enforce the non-disclosure and non-disparagement provisions to suppress speech that it finds detrimental to its interests,” Gardephe said.
Jessica Denson, a Hispanic outreach director on Trump’s 2016 campaign, accused the campaign of sex discrimination and brought the case to Judge Gardephe.
“I’m overjoyed,” Denson told Politico regarding the ruling. “This president… 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.”
Sensitive campaign information, such as polling data and fundraising strategies, is not covered by the court decision.
The Trump campaign asked Gardephe to edit the agreement’s provisions if he found it “unenforceable,” but he declined.