On the heels of the bombshell class action lawsuit brought against the Trump administration by Jessica Denson, a former staffer who is demanding that all non-disclosure agreements that Trump required potential staffers and employees to sign be invalidated, comes a report from the Daily Beast that says, reliant on insider sources, that Trump is currently requiring even interns to sign such agreements to this day, and threatening to ruin their lives if they do not.
To clarify: Interns are not paid staffers and are generally exempt from any such agreements. But if the NDAs that Trump required his senior White House staff to sign at the beginning of the administration are any indicator, those young interns so eager to get a jump-start on public service that they’re willing to forego pay in exchange for experience and Capitol Hill access could be facing up to a ten million dollar penalty if they violate the agreements.
Worse yet, the Beast notes, the interns were informed they would not be getting their own copies of the agreements they were signing — presumably to keep them from leaking even the details of what they’re not supposed to talk about — which reportedly include a ban on any negative discussion of any member of the Trump family.
The problem for Trump here is that legally, it’s likely he could force staffers on the Trump campaign to sign such an agreement, at least until he became the nominee and thus the beneficiary of at least some funding through the Republican National Committee’s various PACs — that is not the case with the federal government.
Indeed, as we’ve seen, the legal threats have done almost nothing to keep former insiders from dishing on the inner workings of the Trump West Wing, and in fact have almost universally resulted in yet another lawsuit against the President for attempting to stifle what is, in effect, freedom of speech.
Taken a step further, the NDAs he requires interns and others to sign could be examined by prosecutors as evidence of an attempt to obstruct justice, if those staffers were ever called before a grand jury or Congress as part of any probe into the administration.
And political analysts say that could bring this White House down.
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