A top Washington, DC attorney has promised to defend any official in the Trump Administration who is willing to break the non-disclosure agreements they were required to sign before entering the government, and he is willing to do so free of charge.
Mark Zaid, who is a lawyer who specializes in cases involving government workers and their free speech rights, made the offer in response to a report that indicated that all Trump officials had signed non-disclosure agreements that forbid them from talking about their work within the Trump administration, both while they are on the job, and forever thereafter.
According to the report, any infraction of the non-disclosure agreements would be subject to a fine of $10 million. The agreements supposedly cover conveying information both to members of the media and to other government employees. It also prevents officials from conveying information even under the guise of fiction.
One of the founding partners of a nonprofit law firm called Whistleblower Aid, Zaid said that legally government officials could only be prevented from disclosing classified information after their government service was completed. Other civil rights and free speech experts concur with Zaid, and believe that the non-disclosure agreements in question are unconstitutional, which means that they cannot be enforced by law.
Ben Wizner, who works for the American Civil Rights Union (ACLU), said that the speech of public employees cannot be suppressed by private agreements. Heidi Kitrosser, who is a law professor at the University of Minnesota, agreed with him, saying that the agreements clearly violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Mark Fenster, who is a law professor at the University of Florida, added that public employees cannot sign away their right to speak.
Many of these experts further noted that officials in the Trump Administration do not actually work for the president, but for the United States. Therefore, only the government itself could enforce the agreements, which is highly unlikely to happen.