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Friday, February 03, 2023
Trump 2016 Campaign to Pay $450,000 to Settle Non-Disclosure Case. (Bloomberg)
DJT NDAs were illegal. From Bloomberg:
Trump 2016 Campaign to Pay $450,000 to Settle Non-Disclosure Case
Judge nixed secrecy in deal with ex-staffer Jessica Denson
Campaign previously agreed not to enforce contract terms
Former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign agreed to pay $450,000 to settle a years-long legal fight over non-disclosure agreements that it required workers and volunteers sign, new court documents show.
The campaign’s settlement with former staff member Jessica Denson briefly appeared to be in potential jeopardy after a federal judge in New York earlier this week rejected efforts to keep the dollar amount secret. The campaign had described the confidentiality as a “core component” of its willingness to reach a deal.
But in a brief notice filed Friday, lawyers for Denson and the campaign told US District Judge Paul Gardephe that they had decided to move ahead with the settlement, and attached a new version of the document that disclosed the payment terms.
Denson will receive a $25,000 incentive fee for pressing the case for several years, and the remaining $425,000 will go to cover costs and legal fees. Denson was represented by the law firms Bowles & Johnson and Ballard Spahr and nonprofit public interest group Protect Democracy.
“Thanks to the court, this is another victory for truth and transparency. The Trump Campaign can hide nothing now, not even the real price they’ve agreed to pay for our tireless and victorious battle against their forced silence,” Denson said in a statement.
The Trump campaign’s lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The bulk of the settlement terms already had been made public in court filings last month. The campaign agreed to release all former staffers, volunteers, and contractors from the non-disclosure and non-disparagement language that they’d signed in order to work for Trump in the 2016 election cycle, freeing them to share their experiences.
According to Denson’s attorneys, the campaign estimated that at least 422 people signed identical contracts.
Gardephe previously had ruled that the language in the campaign’s contracts was invalid — that it was too vague and “unduly burdensome” to be enforceable. Denson and her attorneys were in the middle of trying to have the case certified as a class action when they reached the agreement with the campaign.
Assuming the settlement is now clear to go ahead, the lawyers have asked Gardephe to certify a limited class of former campaign workers who would be covered by the deal. The next step would be for the judge to hold a hearing to make sure the terms are fair.
The case is Denson v. Donald J. Trump for President Inc., 1:20-cv-04737, US District Court for the Southern District of New York.