In another blow to the method that Donald Trump uses to do business, a federal judge has struck down one of Donald Trump’s non-disclosure agreements.
Although U. S. District Court Judge Paul Gardephe’s ruling avoided the constitutional issues of the use of non-disclosure agreements in political campaigns, he said that the broad, boilerplate language that the campaign used in these agreements was so vague that the agreement was invalid under New York contract law. “As to the scope of the provision, it is — as a practical matter — unlimited. … Accordingly, Campaign employees are not free to speak about anything concerning the Campaign,” wrote Gardephe. “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.”
Gardephe’s 36-page decision said a non-disparagement clause in the agreement was similarly flawed: “The Campaign’s past efforts to enforce the non-disclosure and non-disparagement provisions demonstrate that it is not operating in good faith to protect what it has identified as legitimate interests,” the judge added. “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 issued this ruling in a case brought by Jessica Denson, a Hispanic outreach director for Trump in 2016. Jessica Denton accused the campaign of sex discrimination in another litigation.