According to a new Washington Post article, Trump has required his White House staffers to sign nondisclosure agreements. The White House staffers were asked the sign the documents in the early part of Trump’s presidency, promising not to discuss confidential information. The NDA’s are similar to ones that those working on the Trump campaign were required to sign.
A few people were hesitant to sign, but they eventually caved to the pressure exerted by Former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. The unnamed source stated that the penalty for sharing information, even after Trump’s presidency has ended, could result in a penalty up to $10 million.
The information not to be discussed included “all nonpublic information” that was learned “in the course of” performing “official duties in the service of the United States Government on White House staff.” The agreement prohibits sharing information with members of the press or other government employees.
This kind of agreement between president and White House staff is unusual to say the least, but according to the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology project director, Ben Wizner, it could also be unlawful. According to Wizner, “public employees can’t be gagged by private agreements. These so-called NDA’s are unconstitutional and unenforceable.”
The White House has yet to comment on the agreements.