Five Judges Unanimously Reject Trump’s Request To Toss Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against Him
A panel of federal judges has rejected President Donald Trump’s request to toss a lawsuit filed by a former “Apprentice” contestant who claims Trump made unwelcome sexual advances toward her and then disputed her account of the interactions.
According to Politico, lawyers for Trump have argued that he should not have to respond to the suit from Summer Zervos because it was brought in state court and allowing the case to proceed could interfere with Trump’s presidential duties.
Trump’s lawyers, led by attorney Marc Kasowitz, urged that the suit be tossed out or put on hold until after Trump leaves office.
On Thursday, however, five judges from the New York Supreme Court appellate division rejected Trump’s motion with a short and resounding ruling, Politico reports.
“Upon reading and filing the papers with respect to the motion, and due deliberation having been had thereon, It is ordered that the motion is denied,” the judges wrote.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1997 that President Bill Clinton could be subject to a civil sexual harassment suit while in office. That case was in a federal court, while Zervos’ was filed in state court in Manhattan. Kasowitz said allowing her case to proceed would give a state judge too much authority over the president.
Zervos’ attorneys Gloria Allred, who withdrew from the case in March, and Mariann Wang welcomed the decision.
“I am very happy with the court order permitting my former client, Summer Zervos, to proceed with discovery in her defamation case against President Trump,” Allred wrote in an e-mail. “I think it is very important that President Trump provide answers in Summer’s civil defamation case through the discovery process a.s.a.p. ‘Justice delayed is justice denied.’”
“We look forward to proving Ms. Zervos’s claim that Defendant lied when he maliciously attacked her for reporting his sexually abusive behavior,” Wang said in a statement, according to the report.