Suppose a Senator, Representative, non-voting delegate, or their staff makes a disclosure in their their official capacity that violates an otherwise valid non-disclosure agreement (NDA) or other agreement. For example, suppose a person with knowledge of the Coca-Cola formula was elected as a Senator and disclosed the trade secret formula in a floor speech on the Senate. Would this subject the Senator to liability for violating their non-disclosure agreement?
I would be interested in hearing an analysis would change if considering Congressional staff i.e. Gravel v. United States or even non-voting delegates.
Suppose an aide to the Joint Committee on Taxation discloses his intimate knowledge of a company’s corporate structure and tax avoidance strategies in order to propose legislation that removes these strategies. Or, for example, a former employee who is hired as a congressional aide violates an anti-disparagement clause with their former employer.
Would these disclosures be protected by the Speech and Debate Clause? Would the former employer be able to stop providing benefits it agreed to provide in a severance package in retaliation for such conduct (alleging breach of contract)?