Hani Sarji / Flickr 2011 04 21 Trump proves hair...
Hani Sarji / Flickr

The ACLU has a few things to say about reports that senior staff in the Trump administration have been required to sign nondisclosure agreements that prevent them from sharing details of Trump’s presidency, now and after his term expires. Those words include “unconstitutional and unenforceable.”

Ben Wizner, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, had this reaction:

“Public employees can’t be gagged by private agreements. These so-called NDAs are unconstitutional and unenforceable.”

The Washington Post reported Sunday that Trump was requiring the NDAs in the early months of his administration, when he was “furious over leaks from within the White House,” and that “senior White House staff members were asked to, and did, sign nondisclosure agreements vowing not to reveal confidential information and exposing them to damages for any violation.” The draft of the NDA seen by the Post set that penalty at $10 million “for each and any unauthorized revelation of ‘confidential’ information, defined as ‘all nonpublic information I learn of or gain access to in the course of my official duties in the service of the United States Government on White House staff,’ including ‘communications . . . with members of the press’ and ‘with employees of federal, state, and local governments.'”

Remarkably the White House Counsel’s Office, headed up by Don McGahn, “pressed” staff to sign the agreements. And now in some undisclosed location, Dick Cheney is regretting his own lack of creativity and brazenness.

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