Last week, the judge overseeing Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial issued a gag order barring the autocratic loudmouth from commenting about the court’s staff following his social media attack on the judge’s principal law clerk. Now, a federal judge has taken action against Trump in the other direction, formalizing a settlement that removes the muzzle Trump put on his 2016 campaign workers, freeing them to speak candidly about their experiences.
Trump has a long history of using non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to prevent people who have come into his circle from revealing the truth about their dealings with him. To work on Trump’s 2016 election campaign, staffers had to sign a contract with NDAs barring them from disclosing any “confidential information” about the campaign or using it to disparage Trump, his family or business, both while working on the campaign and “at all times thereafter.” In addition, a non-disparagement agreement added that staffers could not “demean or disparage publicly” Trump, his company or family.
The settlement, filed on Wednesday, voids these agreements, ending a class-action lawsuit brought by Jessica Denson, the campaign’s former Hispanic outreach director, in 2019, following her own successful individual NDA lawsuit against Trump in 2018. After being unable to nullify all the NDAs before the 2020 election, Denson argued that “NDAs like this are part of the reason why we ended up with a Donald Trump candidacy and presidency in the first place,” according to a report from Forbes.
At least 422 employees as well as contractors and volunteers signed the overly restrictive NDAs, according to the settlement, which means that hundreds of people are now free to speak the truth about their Trump experiences without fear of legal action. Soon, America will begin to see the stories roll out and learn even more about Trump’s statements, actions, and behavior on the 2016 campaign trail. It’s the last thing Trump needs as he desperately tries to avoid civil and criminal liability while fantasizing about what he’ll destroy first in a return to the White House. Stay tuned.