Published: Fri, March 15, 2019

Summer Zervos' defamation suit against Trump can go forward: appeals court

Summer Zervos' defamation suit against Trump can go forward: appeals court

A New York State appeals court on Thursday delivered some bad news to President Donald Trump, perhaps telegraphing a larger message to Congress and the Dept. of Justice. Add Donald Trump as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Donald Trump news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

Mr Trump's lawyer Marc Kasowitz said the President would appeal to the state's highest court, the Court of Appeals, "which we expect will agree with the dissent".

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.

Defendant's reading of the Supremacy Clause - that it bars a state court from exercising jurisdiction over him because he is the "ultimate repository of the Executive Branch's powers and is required by the Constitution to be "always in function" -- finds no support in the constitutional text or case law.

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

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

He called the women "liars" trying to harm his campaign with "100 percent fabricated" stories, and he retweeted a message specifically calling Zervos' claim "a hoax".

Ironically, they cited the Supreme Court's ruling of Clinton v. Jones, which decided the president could be sued in office relating to unofficial acts that have nothing to do with his role as president. "We look forward to proving to a jury that Ms. Zervos told the truth about Defendant's unwanted sexual groping and holding him accountable for his malicious lies".

The court disagreed, opening the way for Trump to be deposed about what Zervos says was a sexual assault in his bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 2007.

Ms Zervos has repeatedly accused Mr Trump of kissing her against her will at a 2007 meeting in NY, and later groping her at a Beverly Hills hotel.

"We are very pleased that the First Department has affirmed once again that Defendant "is not above the law, '" Zervos" lawyer, Mariann Wang, said in a statement.

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

The Washington Post reported the decision Thursday, which will allow discovery to continue in the suit against the president. They face a June 28 deadline for any depositions - pretrial questioning under oath - of Trump and Zervos by each other's lawyers.

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