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A Roll of Bounty Holds Up Better Than a Trump Secrecy Agreement

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Donald Trump’s notoriously belligerent non-disclosure agreements have suffered another legal blow. It’s the third such loss in the last year, and further proof of an important fact: The supposedly ironclad contracts aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.

According to documents filed earlier this month in a private New York arbitration proceeding, the Trump campaign has been ordered to pay more than $350,000 in legal costs after trying to enforce what three rulings have now established as an “unenforceable” document.

It’s the latest in a series of failed attempts to silence or penalize former aides who have crossed the former president. And in this case, Trump can chalk the loss up to his own vindictiveness.

Trump’s case targeted 2016 campaign staffer Alva Johnson, who sued him in 2019 for trying to kiss her while also alleging gender and racial pay discrimination. The lawsuit was dismissed, but Trump didn’t let it rest. Instead, the campaign sued Johnson in arbitration for allegedly violating the terms of the NDA she was required to sign.

But even though Johnson lost the initial lawsuit, the arbitrator—retired federal magistrate Victor Bianchini—agreed with two other Trump NDA decisions last year: The campaign contract was “vague and unenforceable.”

Trump, of course, has wielded NDAs with imperious delight, dating back to his days on set at his NBC reality game show. In addition to the intimidation factor, NDAs also offer certain procedural advantages, particularly for a thin-skinned litigant like Trump.

Unlike civil court, NDA arbitration cases are often........

© The Daily Beast

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