Judge Uses Brett Kavanaugh to Pile on Trump in Summer Zervos Decision

President Donald Trump listens to a question during a meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in the Oval Office of the White House in WashingtonTrump Washington USA- 14 Mar 2019

Summer Zervos, a former contestant on The Apprentice, can proceed with her defamation lawsuit against President Trump, a NY appellate court ruled Thursday, rejecting the president's assertion he cannot be sued in state court. On Thursday an appellate court in NY ruled that Trump was not immune from being sued in state court and that a defamation lawsuit against him could move forward.

A panel of judges on the Supreme Court Appellate Division said in their ruling, in a case brought by Summer Zervos, that the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution doesn't require trials in state court to be delayed until the president is out of office.

Zervos was among more than a dozen women who came forward late in the 2016 presidential campaign to say that Mr. Trump had sexually harassed or assaulted them. On one occasion, she claimed that Trump groped her in a hotel, even after she tried to push him away.

The second allegedly occurred soon thereafter when Zervos went to meet Trump for dinner at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where she said he kissed her "open-mouthed", "grabbed her shoulder, again kissing her very aggressively, and placed his hand on her breast".

A U.S. Supreme Court decision in the similar federal case Clinton v. Jones acknowledged that a hypothetical state court case would involve separate issues, and thus the Jones case didn't control such a situation.

The decision means that President Trump may have to sit for a sworn deposition, which is now scheduled for June. Her resolve to stay quiet changed, she said, after an "Access Hollywood" recording emerged in October 2016 of Trump boasting about groping women.


Trump's attorneys had argued that the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution shielded Trump from the claim, but Justice Dianne Renwick wrote that the clause was "never meant to deprive a state court of its authority to decide cases and controversies under the state's constitution". They also say his comments were opinions and protected free speech. Trump also republished on Twitter a post calling Zervos' accusations a "hoax".

Attorneys for President Trump argued that as President, he can not be sued.

All five justices found Ms Zervos's defamation claim legally sufficient, without ruling on its merits.

Trump has denied Zervos' claims and called her case politically motivated. That paved the way for Clinton's impeachment the following year. Daniels, whose given name is Stephanie Clifford, had argued that Trump defamed her when he suggested that she had lied about being threatened to keep quiet about their alleged past relationship.

That lawsuit was dismissed on March 7.

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

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