Trump Lawyers Try to Snuff Summer Zervos Defamation Lawsuit
Trump Lawyers Try to Snuff Summer Zervos Defamation Lawsuit
Trump lawyers push to have defamation suit thrown out
06 December, 2017, 02:25
Marc Kasowitz, a lawyer for the president, spoke during oral arguments in New York Supreme Court this afternoon, saying the lawsuit brought by Summer Zervos would impede the ability of the president to do his job.
Joseph Cammarata, who represented Paula Jones against Clinton, told The Washington Post that the legal maneuver "opens (Trump) up to have to answer questions about sexual relations, other relationships, what might have been said, to open up your whole life".
"Let's lay down and watch some telly-telly", she claimed he said.
Zervos, who in October 2016 accused Trump of grabbing her breast and forcing kisses on her among other allegations, filed suit in January after Trump publicly called her a liar.
In his rebuttal Kasowtiz said that both the president and Zervos are protected by the First Amendment, especially in the course of a heated political campaign.
Trump is arguing that the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution immunizes the President from being sued in state court while in office.
Judge Schecter said she'd make a decision at a later date. Zervos' legal team also includes Gloria Allred and Nathan Goldberg of Allred, Maroko & Goldberg and Cuti Hecker partner Eric Hecker. Zervos says she's grateful for their help and, "Justice prevails". They could, for example, meet Trump during one of his weekend visits to his Mar-A-Lago resort in Florida to record a video deposition, she suggested.
Zervos said that Trump's remarks on the tape made it clear to her that his behavior toward her was consistent with Trump's belief that he has a "right to sexually assault women".
"We just want to say that no man is above the law, including the president of the United States", she said.
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"Although events happened nearly a decade ago, [Zervos] saw fit, three weeks before the election, to come forward and make claims about the president that the president denied, but to make claims that would be damaging to the election the president was engaged in at that time", Kasowitz said.
Summer Zervos was a contestant on the show in 2006 and sued the Republican after he dismissed as "fabricated and made-up charges" her claims that he made unwanted sexual contact with her at a Beverly Hills, California, hotel in 2007. In it, Allred argued that Trump is "not above the law".
Mariann Wang, the lead lawyer for Zervos, argued, "There is no case that holds that a federal official can not be held to account in a state court".
"Not with regard to the president, your honor", Kasowitz responded.
Trump's lawyers have said that Clinton v. Jones only applies to lawsuits in federal courts, not state courts.
She thinks a NY state court is the ideal venue to hear a defamation claim against a "born and bred New Yorker", and stressed the overall holding in Clinton v. Jones as establishing that presidents can't claim immunity.
Schecter seemed sympathetic to arguments that Trump is, in contrast to what his lawyers have said, not incapable of participating in a lawsuit while doing the duties of his office.
In September, Allred filed an opposition brief after Trump's attorneys' filed a motion to dismiss the case. "It is true that the president has to do his job 24 hours a day, seven days a week", Wang said.
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