Breitbart sends ‘cease and desist’ letters to former staffers reminding them of legal agreement

When now former editor-at-large Ben Shapiro joined with five other employees to resign from Breitbart News, he referred to chairman Steve Bannon as “a bully.”

In the wake of the controversy over Donald Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who allegedly manhandled reporter Michelle Fields, one of the six staffers to resign, the company is getting litigious.

Politico reported on Tuesday that multiple sources have said Breitbart sent out cease and desist letters to some of those who left the company, which is a follow-up to an internal communication directing writers to stop defending Fields.

According to BuzzFeed, senior editor-at-large Joel Pollak reminded staff that “you were given explicit instructions” as he directed them to “STOP tweeting about the story. Stop speculating about the story.”

The cease and desist letters are a likely result of non-disparagement clauses many Breitbart employees reportedly have agreed to.

A non-disparagement clause is a contract requiring parties to agree not to make negative statements about the other and is a common practice many businesses employ to protect themselves from disgruntled employees.

The “pro-Trump” website continues to take a beating over the Fields controversy, with the irony not lost on social media users that Andrew Breitbart always fought for free expression. It seems that the news outlet’s fate is now indelibly linked to that of Republican front-runner Trump.

Overall, the reaction on social media was mixed; here’s a sampling of responses from Twitter:

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