On Sunday, it was revealed that Trump ordered senior White House staff members to sign nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) during the early months of his presidency. This was an effort to stop leaks from coming out of the White House.
The NDAs would also apply even after the end of the Trump presidency.
In other words, the agreement has no end date, so this would prevent staffers from ever speaking out.
According to a draft NDA, if confidential White House information were to be leaked, officials could be fined as much as $10 million.
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It is unknown if the fine has been changed from the amount in the draft.
Trump is no stranger to NDAs. He has talked about his desire to use them during the 2016 campaign. He also used them on his employees when he was running his businesses.
However, now the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is speaking out against them, calling them “unconstitutional” and “unenforceable.”
In a statement by Ben Wizner, the director of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, he stated, “Public employees can’t be gagged by private agreements. These so-called NDAs are unconstitutional and unenforceable.”
The ACLU is not the only one that spoke out against them. Norman Eisen, formerly in the Obama administration, ripped on the NDAs by calling them illegal. He added that the lawyers who made staffers sign the NDAs should face consequences.
White House lawyers who knowingly participated in a scheme to illegally coerce unrepresented non lawyer employees & deprive them of First Amendment and other rights could be subject to bar discipline for violating ethics rules —and maybe even lose their licenses https://t.co/UOWd3y7yQS
— Norm Eisen (@NormEisen) March 19, 2018
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