Friday, 22 March, 2019

Trump's team plans to appeal 'Apprentice' ruling

Summer Zervos' lawsuit against President Donald Trump can proceed, court rules New York appellate court allows Summer Zervos defamation suit against Trump to proceed
Jeannette Daniel | 16 March, 2019, 21:47

Former "Apprentice" contestant Summer Zervos' defamation suit against Donald Trump can move forward, an appellate court has ruled.

The dissenting judges said the lawsuit would interfere with Trump's job as president, and should wait until he left office.

Attorney Marc Kasowitz argued before a lower court that the Supremacy Clause meant that a state court can not have jurisdiction over a sitting president. But in their ruling on Thursday, the court said that finding the president in contempt would be a "hypothetical scenario that is highly unlikely to occur in the context of this lawsuit".

The ruling in Zervos' case also hurts Trump's cause in a separate NY lawsuit - this one involving his troubled charity, the Donald J. Trump Foundation.

In the lawsuit, Zervos alleged that Trump "wrongly smeared her" and subjected her to threats by claiming that the accusations of sexual misconduct and harassment were lies.

Her lawyer, Mariann Wang, said in an emailed statements she was pleased the judges had ruled that Trump was "not above the law".

The Zervos case has already brought forth dozens of recorded depositions with Trump Organization figures as senior as Allen Weisselberg, the company's CFO, who had been at Mr. Trump's side for decades.

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Justice Jennifer Schecter originally allowed the case to proceed in March of a year ago, arguing that nothing in the U.S. Constitution's Supremacy Clause suggests the president is immune from civil lawsuits. Last year, the NY attorney general sued Trump, alleging "persistently illegal conduct" at the charity he has run for 31 years.

A NY appeals court has ruled that President Donald Trump isn't immune from a defamation lawsuit filed by a former "Apprentice" contestant who accused him of unwanted kissing and groping. In a June 2018 lawsuit, the Attorney General claimed the foundation was operated as a "shell corporation that functioned as a checkbook" for Mr. Trump, his campaign and businesses.

Zervos, who once was repped by attorney Gloria Allred, alleges that Trump kissed her twice without consent during a lunch meeting at his NYC office. "The result the Supreme Court reached in Jones. may well have been entirely correct". In the suit, she demands that Mr. Trump apologize and retract his statements, and asks for unspecified damages.

That lawsuit was dismissed on March 7.

In contrast to Daniels and her attorney, Michael Avenatti, Zervos and her lawyers have taken a low-key approach, a step that may help them negate claims that the suit is politically motivated.

Less than a month before the 2016 election, Zervos held a press conference in which she claimed that Trump made unwanted sexual advances toward her as she sought his professional advice.

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