Legal

A pact signed by former Hispanic outreach director Jessica Denson is too broad and vague to enforce, a judge says.

In this Nov. 5, 2016, file photo, Donald Trump gestures during a campaign rally in Tampa, Fla. | Chris O’Meara, File/AP

By JOSH GERSTEIN

03/30/2021 08:44 PM EDT

Updated: 03/30/2021 11:13 PM EDT

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A federal judge ruled Tuesday that a broad non-disclosure agreement that Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign required employees to sign is unenforceable.

U.S. District Court Judge Paul Gardephe’s ruling generally steered clear of the constitutional issues presented by such agreements in the context of political campaigns. Instead, the judge — an appointee of President George W. Bush — said the sweeping, boilerplate language the campaign compelled employees to sign 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.”

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