Summer Zervos' lawsuit against President Donald Trump can proceed, court rules

Blanche Robertson
March 16, 2019

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.

Kasowitz said in a statement on Thursday that the team "respectfully" disagrees with the majority decision in New York's Appellate Division and expects to prevail upon appeal in a higher court.

Attorney Marc Kasowitz argued before a lower court that the Supremacy Clause meant that a state court can not have jurisdiction over a sitting president.

Zervos was among over a dozen women who emerged during Trump's 2016 campaign with allegations of sexual misconduct years earlier. They ruled that he was not immune from a federal lawsuit, leaving open the question of a claim against the president filed in a state court.

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 Zervos case has already brought forth dozens of recorded depositions with Trump Organization figures as senior as Allen Weisselberg, the company's CFO, who had been at Mr. Trump's side for decades.

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President Trump had argued that the case should be postponed until he is out of office because of immunity that he has as a president. They also say his remarks were opinions that he had a free-speech right to express in the course of a heated campaign.

Zervos' lawyer Mariann Wang said in a statement: "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".

Zervos's attorney Marianne Wang eagerly awaits the opportunity to prove her client's claims correct in a court of law where, as U.S. Judge Amy Berman Jackson noted Wednesday, "facts still matter". But in their ruling on Thursday, the court said that finding the president in contempt would be a "hypothetical scenario that is highly unlikely to occur in the context of this lawsuit". The Court upheld a lower court's ruling that the case against the President can continue.

A lawyer for Trump was not immediately available for comment. She alleges that Trump "ambushed" her on multiple occasions, starting in 2007, and kissed her on the mouth, touched her breast and rubbed his genitals against her.

Adult-film actress Stormy Daniels had filed a separate suit against Trump, arguing that he 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.

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