Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

N.Y. Appeals Court Rules Trump Can’t Avoid Summer Zervos’ Defamation Suit

N.Y. Appeals Court Rules Trump Can’t Avoid Summer Zervos’ Defamation Suit

In a move that could have big implications for the much-investigaed ex-Celebrity Apprentice host, a NY state appeals court today shut down Trump's ongoing desire to dodge Summer Zervos' legal action in its affirmation of a lower court ruling that POTUS can't get out of the case just because he is in the Oval Office.

Donald Trump's efforts to get a defamation lawsuit thrown away have been dismissed by an appellate court in NY, which officially rejected the idea that a sitting president can not be sued in state court.

Zervos was among over a dozen women who came forward during Trump's 2016 campaign with allegations of sexual misconduct years earlier.

He denied the allegations and called the women liars, which prompted Ms Zervos to take him to court.

Zervos has claimed that Trump forcibly kissed and groped her during a December 2007 encounter at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles.

Even with more appeals possibly all the way to the Supreme Court, Trump now looks certain to have to sit for a grilling from Zervos' attorney Mariann Wang by the end of June, I hear. Her resolve to stay quiet changed, she said, after an "Access Hollywood" recording emerged in October 2016 of Trump boasting about groping women.

"We believe that the well-reasoned dissenting opinion by 2 of the 5 justices, citing the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Clinton v. Jones case, is correct in concluding that the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution bars state courts from hearing cases against the President while he or she is in office", Kasowitz said in a statement. They also say his comments were opinions and protected free speech.

Despite suggesting that he embodies the executive branch and has significant responsibilities, "the President is still a person, and he is not above the law", the court said.

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Trump also faced a defamation claim by adult film actress Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit over a hush money agreement.

In 1997, the U.S. Supreme Court let Jones' case go forward.

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

That paved the way for Mr Clinton's impeachment the following year.

That lawsuit was dismissed on March 7. The Court upheld a lower court's ruling that the case against the President can continue.

Zervos appeared on "The Apprentice" in 2006, when Trump was the reality show's host.

"The current sitting President attempts to shield himself from consequences for his alleged unofficial misconduct by relying upon the constitutional protection of the Presidency", Justice Dianne Remwick wrote Thursday in decision to reject the motion to dismiss (read it here).

Summer Zervos, left, leaves NY state appellate court with here attorney Mariann Wang, Thursday in October previous year.

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