Judge: Trump can not avoid lawsuit by former 'Apprentice' contestant alleging defamation

Cheryl Sanders
March 20, 2018

The decision by Justice Jennifer Schecter of State Supreme Court in Manhattan paves the way for lawyers to seek depositions from several women who accused Mr. Trump of sexual harassment before he was elected and to subpoena Trump campaign records related to his female accusers.

A New York State judge has ruled that a defamation lawsuit brought by a woman who has said President Trump made unwanted sexual advances can go forward, raising the possibility of a public airing of other allegations of sexual misconduct against the president.

This means that Summer Zervos' complaint will now move forward.

At the request of Zervos' lawyers, Trump's campaign agreed in March to preserve all documents it might have concerning allegations that Trump touched Zervos and nine other women inappropriately.

Summer Zervos filed the suit previous year after Trump said publicly that she and other women making similar claims made them up.

In January 2017, Zervos filed a suit in New York State Supreme Court against Trump, arguing that Trump defamed her by denying her account and calling his accusers "liars".

Zervos has accused Trump of aggressively kissing her and groping her breasts while she was pursuing a job at his company, charges he said were untrue.

"In a defamation action, the question is truth".

Oral arguments were heard back in December. On the 2005 video, Trump talks about forcing himself on women, kissing them and groping them.

She cited as precedent a civil rights lawsuit against then President Bill Clinton that was ordered to proceed.

"No one is above the law", the judge wrote. "Nothing in the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution even suggests that the President can not be called to account before a state court for wrongful conduct that bears no relationship to any federal executive responsibility", the judge wrote.

"For the very same reasons articulated in Clinton v Jones, a stay for the duration of the Trump presidency must be denied", she added.

She rejected Trump's claim that he was immune from being sued, finding "absolutely no authority" to dismiss litigation related "purely to unofficial conduct" exclusively because he occupied the White House.

A White House representative was not immediately available for comment on the ruling.

Other reports by iNewsToday