Defamation case against Trump to move forward

21 March, 2018, 08:24 | Author: Angel Logan
  • President Donald Trump speaks during a roundtable talks on sanctuary cities with law enforcement officers in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington Tuesday

Justice Jennifer Schecter in the Manhattan Supreme Court said there was "absolutely no authority" to dismiss or stay a civil lawsuit by Summer Zervos related "purely to unofficial conduct" because Trump was USA president.

Trump argued the U.S. Constitution's supremacy clause protects presidents from civil litigation in state courts.

Summer Zervos brought the suit against Trump a year ago, claiming that the real estate mogul defamed her on the presidential-campaign trail in 2016 after she accused Trump in a press conference with celebrity attorney Gloria Allred of making multiple unwanted advances at her.

"No one is above the law", Justice Jennifer Schechter wrote.

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

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

"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", Schecter wrote.

In allowing Zervos' case to go forward, Schecter cited a 1997 US Supreme Court precedent allowing former Arkansas state employee Paula Jones to pursue a sexual harassment case against then-president Bill Clinton to proceed.

Zervos said that, in 2007, Trump subjected her to unwanted kissing during a meeting at his office.

Near the end of the presidential race, Zervos and more than a dozen other women came forward to say Trump had sexually assaulted or harassed them.

Mariann Wang, one of Zervos' lawyers, said in a statement on Tuesday: "We are grateful for the opportunity to prove that that defendant falsely branded Ms. Zervos a phoney for telling the truth about his unwanted sexual groping".

The Zervos ruling, along with the cases filed by McDougal and Daniels, added to the mounting legal headaches facing Trump regarding his history with women.

If the case proceeds through the court, Trump could, theoretically at least, be required to sit for a deposition.

She sued in January past year.

Summer Zervos, a former candidate on "The Apprentice", speaks to the press with her attorney Gloria Allred Oct. 14, 2016 in Los Angeles.

"I never met her at a hotel", responded Trump, who would also attack allegations from his accusers as "100 percent fabricated and made-up charges, pushed strongly by the media and the Clinton campaign".

A court document provided to The Post on Tuesday by Michael Avenatti, an attorney for Daniels, describes the polygraph examination, which concluded that Daniels was being "truthful" about her allegations of a sexual encounter with Trump.

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