As one might expect, the president-elect has a lot going on nowadays in the run-up to the inauguration, so it’s likely he’s none too pleased about this recent development. Donald Trump underwent a deposition under oath today, a meeting that may have gone on for as long as seven hours. CNN senior producer Edward David confirmed via his Twitter account that Trump completed his deposition on Thursday.
— Edward M. Davis (@TeddyDavisCNN) January 5, 2017
Linked to a violation of contract where a chef bailed on staffing a restaurant located in one of The Donald’s new hotels, the deposition took place at Trump Tower. Trump himself made the request, saying it was warranted due to convenience and security concerns.
Jose Andres is the chef in question, and it appears that both he and another restaurateur by the name of Geoffrey Zakarian abandoned the deal they had with the Trump hotel due to Trump’s comments about Mexican immigrants last year.
The president-elect expressed his wish to either keep the deposition under two hours or not hold it at all. But Judge Jennifer A. Di Toro of D.C. Superior Court told Trump that the deposition could go on for as many as seven hours, and commanded him to stay for the whole thing. According to POLITICO, Trump attorney Rebecca Woods was seen at Trump Tower on Wednesday. She is the attorney in charge of Trump’s side of the case.
As one might expect from someone being sued by a billionaire about to be president of the United States, Mr. Andres seems to wish to resolve the whole ordeal amicably if he can. He tweeted this on Thursday:
Again Mr. Peotus @realDonaldTrump if you are awake, let’s resolve this in a friendly way. We donate $ to a charity, 🤝😀..? Is a great deal!
— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) January 5, 2017
But the president-elect has remained adamant and unwilling to settle against the chef. He has already sat for a deposition back in June, also for a separate lawsuit against Zakarian, who pulled out of another deal with Trump to open a separate restaurant. Video of the earlier deposition is featured below.
Trump is no stranger to legal issues, and could find himself tied up in more suits during his tenure as president. A lot more. Trump was already ordered to pay a $25 million settlement, following lawsuits over his Trump University real estate courses.
It would certainly be out of the ordinary for Trump to be constantly jousting with legal troubles during his tenure as president, but he’d be far from the first president in recent memory to sit at a deposition. President Clinton underwent a deposition after Paula Jones accused him of sexual harassment in the ’90s. Back then, Clinton made the argument that his status as president insulated him from being sued, and took the case to the highest court in the land. But the Supreme Court handed down a ruling that presidents can be sued for incidents that happened before they took office, and which are not related to their presidency. In 1997, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that presidents cannot be sued for official business they perform while in office (so they can do their job), but that same legal armor doesn’t extend all the way to non-official concerns.
Featured image is a screen capture from the video.