A New York arbitrator's decision last week, in a lawsuit involving former White House adviser and Apprentice contestant Omarosa Manigault Newman, could open the floodgates for Donald Trump's staff and associates to publicly discuss his "unlawful, unethical, unhinged" behavior, according to Manigault Newman.
Trump has for years used "scary-sounding, multimillion-dollar" non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to bar staff and associates from divulging information about his political and corporate empires, the Daily Beast reported Monday.
However, New York arbitrator Andrew Brown ruled that in Newman's case, the NDA was too expansive to enforce.
"But this ruling is notable for far more than its implications for Omarosa," the Daily Beast reported. "Namely, it could provide a precedent for MAGA defectors and other spurned associates who, intimidated by the vengefully litigious former president, have kept quiet about some of their inside knowledge."
Manigault Newman told the Daily Beast she believes the arbitrator's decision will have a "massive impact" due to "the way Trump treats people when he's done with them," pointing to public humiliations such as getting fired by tweet.
"I really do feel that folks who have been mistreated or embarrassed, who certainly have information to share will go, 'Hmm—well they haven't heard this story,'" Manigault Newman said. "There were so many people in the room when he was doing things that were so clearly unlawful, unethical, unhinged—whatever 'un-' you want to use—especially people in the White House. It's not because they're unloyal or don't care about the office or the country; it's because of how he treated people."
Miles Michael, who worked as an art director on The Apprentice, told the Daily Beast he already feels empowered to speak out despite the NDAs he signed.
"Why should people be stopped from talking about such a public figure based on an NDA that is ostensibly protecting a completely irrelevant TV show?" Michael said.
Brown's ruling follows a federal judge's decision earlier this year in the case of former Trump campaign staffer Jessica Denson, who is also alleging sexual discrimination. In Denson's case, the judge similarly ruled that the NDA she signed was too expansive.
"Although both decisions were specific to the campaign's NDA, the ripples could hit other parts of Trumpland, because of one fact of convenience that has now become extraordinarily inconvenient for Trump: The campaign's agreement was essentially a boilerplate copy of the NDAs for both the Trump Organization and the White House during his administration," the site reports. "The Trump administration's NDA program also appeared unique in that incoming interns were threatened with 'criminal prosecution' and a cartoon image of a jailhouse, according to Trump White House documents and slides from a PowerPoint-type presentation reviewed by The Daily Beast."