Donald Trump Certain To Face Grilling In Ex-‘Apprentice’ Contestant’s Lawsuit

Summer Zervos listens as her attorney Gloria Allred speaks during a news conference announcing the filing of a lawsuit against President-elect Donald Trump in Los Angeles

Summer Zervos listens as her attorney Gloria Allred speaks during a news conference announcing the filing of a lawsuit against President-elect Donald Trump in Los Angeles

A NY state appeals court on Thursday rejected U.S. President Donald Trump's effort to dismiss a defamation lawsuit by a former contestant on his television show "The Apprentice" or delay it until after he leaves the White House.

The appeals court called Ms Zervos's case "materially indistinguishable" from former Arkansas state employee Paula Jones's lawsuit accusing then-president Bill Clinton of sexual harassment.

In subsequent media appearances, Zervos also has claimed Trump's infamous Access Hollywood comments and his subsequent denial of claims from several women who claimed he assaulted them led her to speak out.

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

A state Supreme Court Appellate Division panel issued its ruling Thursday in a case brought by Summer Zervos.

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

"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.

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Zervos has said Trump made unwanted sexual advances towards her, which he has denied.

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

Zervos filed her defamation lawsuit three days before Trump's inauguration. 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.

In dismissing the Daniels case, U.S. District Judge S. James Otero wrote that Daniels had presented herself as Trump's "political adversary" and that Trump's "rhetorical hyperbole" was protected speech.

That lawsuit was dismissed on March 7.

Mariann Wang, attorney for Zervos, said in a statement, "We are very pleased that the [court] has affirmed once again that Defendant 'is not above the law.' The case has proceeded in the trial court and discovery continues. Since there is no federal law conflicting with or displacing this defamation action, the Supremacy Clause does not provide a basis for immunizing the President from state court civil damages actions".

"More than 20 years later, the current sitting President attempts to shield himself from consequences for his alleged unofficial misconduct by relying upon the constitutional protection of the Presidency", the decision reads.

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