There seem to be reasons that a court might find the Stormy Daniels NDA to be non-enforceable. I am listing some and would like to know if there are examples that support a court rejecting such NDA agreements. Payment was made to conceal something that the public has a right to know for national security reasons. Payment was made in a criminal manner or to conceal a crime. A person agrees to something that they have a constitutional right to do, such as get married, or in this case speak about their rulers. I have this sense that our founders wanted the first amendment to protect us from abusive rulers and dictators, and I can even envision a place where Donald Trump says he paid everyone in the USA ( via a $1 rebate on their 1040) to never speak against him.

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    Payment was made [...] to conceal a crime. While morally objectionable and probably grounds for a divorce lawsuit, there is nothing to suggest that the alleged relationship between Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels would have been a crime. There are some people raising issues about how the payment was made, that is true, but that does not make it to conceal a crime.
    – SJuan76
    Mar 10, 2018 at 14:42
  • i can see your point. I guess its not a crime to conceal your character while running for office. Strange that the word " candidate" hides the word "candide". Maybe we have lost our way.
    – joe-xyz
    Mar 11, 2018 at 17:33
  • Adultery is actually a crime in New York State, under Penal Code §255.17. The use of the NDA to conceal a crime may indeed have implications for its validity. Mar 12, 2018 at 16:01
  • I thought the affair took place in another state... allegedly of course?
    – hszmv
    Apr 6, 2018 at 19:21
  • @hszmv I really don't know if adultery is a crime in New York state or not. I also do not know whether a hypothetical New York state adultery law would cover things that happen out of state. Do you know that it does not? I also do not know that the alleged Trump-Daniels affair did not also take place in New York State? Do you know it did not?
    – emory
    Apr 7, 2018 at 14:16

2 Answers 2


In the end, an NDA is just a contract, and you are asking whether the contract is enforcable.

The contract said that X pays an amount of money, and Y doesn't tell facts that are true. Y signed the contract, X apparently didn't sign but paid the money. Both X and Y clearly expressed their intent to be bound by the contract, X by paying the agreed money, Y by signing the contract.

In my opinion, that contract is perfectly legal and enforceable. And if anyone could claim it is not valid, that would be X whose signature is missing, but not Y. Not that I think X could get their money back.

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    Contracts can be unenforceable for reasons of public policy and I can certainly see an argument that there is a public interest in knowing unpleasant facts about a politician. There are other reasons a contract can be unenforceable. Apr 6, 2018 at 7:35
  • I wonder if this is "in the public interest" or if "the public is interested because they are nosy".
    – gnasher729
    Apr 6, 2018 at 7:58
  • Well it's certainly the latter, but that doesn't preclude the former. (I would be amused to watch Trump's team run an argument that there is no public interest in evidence that Trump is a philanderer because everyone knows that anyway.) Apr 6, 2018 at 8:53
  • We don't know that Donald Trump did not sign the NDA. All we know is that Daniels has a copy of the NDA without Trump's signature. If Trump was a smart businessman, he would have retained copies of all documents he signed and he could produce an NDA signed by all parties as evidence of the agreement.
    – emory
    Apr 7, 2018 at 14:20

The contract is not enforceable even when considered with the side letter, which identifies the parties and, importantly, specifies whose confidential information is protected. The actual agreement is between Trumps lawyer (represented as a separate company)and Stormy. Trump is not a party. This is problematic as the nda contains legal promises made by DD. So he would need to be a party as Trump’s lawyer cannot guarantee performance and Trump cannot be held responsible for promises he did not sign off on.

  • If you want to edit your answer to completely change the sense, you will have to log in and do so (and nobody can stop you). As it is, an anonymous user has tried to change the sense, and I have rejected the edit. I hope that other reviewers will also reject it. Apr 6, 2018 at 14:03

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