White House forcing interns to sign NDAs and threatening them with financial ruin

Upon orientation, the interns signed their very own non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), with the envoy of the counsel’s office warning them that a breach of the NDA—blabbing to the media, for instance—could result in legal, and thus financial, consequences for them. Interns were also told that they would not receive their own copies, these sources said…

Still, that hasn’t stopped one-time Trump loyalists or staffers from breaking them, or even taking the president or his team to court to challenge the legality of one of Trump’s preferred methods of shutting people up. On Wednesday, Jessica Denson, a former Hispanic outreach coordinator for the Trump campaign, filed a class action in an attempt to invalidate the NDAs the campaign had ordered its employees to sign. Denson and her legal team argue that the campaign NDAs were “unlawful” and didn’t permit staffers to make claims for workplace discrimination, for instance…

“Gagging interns is playing with legal fire. There is no White House exemption in the longstanding appropriations rider that employees who try to obstruct communications with Congress are subject to salary cutoff,” Tom Devine, legal director at the Government Accountability Project in Washington, D.C., told The Daily Beast. “Nor is the White House exempt from criminal liability since 1980 for obstructing witnesses in any federal investigation.”