It appears that Donald Trump’s attempt to pack the courts with friendly judges has not worked out so well. Of course, he had the help of the senator least popular in his own state, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Still, it appears that trying to own the courts has not prevented POTUS’ past misdeeds from crawling out of his history and biting him.
Summer Zervos was a contestant on Trump’s television show The Apprentice. She claimed in her lawsuit against the president that he forcibly kissed and groped her in December 2007. The two had a meeting at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles, California. The commander-in-chief has denied all allegations.
According to a New York appellate court ruling, Trump has to face Zervos’ defamation lawsuit, The Washington Post reported. She was just one of number of other women who accused him of sexual abuse during the 2016 election. Trump’s own taped words about groping and forcing himself upon women nearly did in his candidacy, but he still called all of the women “liars.” That was what motivated Zervos to file her lawsuit against him.
The lawsuit ruling may give Zervos the opportunity to depose the president of these United States within months. Right now, June 28 has been set as the deposition deadline. All document and electric discovery is anticipated to be complete by the latter part of July, according to her attorney Mariann Wang.
The president’s attorneys have tried to block this woman’s lawsuit, but they have not succeeded. Their argument said that Trump was immune from lawsuits in state court. However, this has never been proven in court. The idea that a sitting president cannot be prosecuted has pivoted upon a Department of Justice (DOJ) ruling, not a law and not the Constitution.
The New York appellate judge panel also disagreed. They cited the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Clinton v. Jones. The judges noted that this ruling established the precedent that presidents can be sued while in office for unofficial acts. Only two of the five paneled judges dissented.
The judges wrote in their majority decision Clinton v. Jones “merely identified a potential Constitutional concern:”
‘Contrary to defendant’s contention, Clinton v Jones did not suggest that its reasoning would not apply to state court actions. It merely identified a potential constitutional concern. Notwithstanding that concern, this Court should not be deterred from holding that a state court can exercise jurisdiction over the President as a defendant in a civil lawsuit.’
Wang noted that Trump is “not above the law:”
‘The case has proceeded in the trial court and discovery continues. 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 president’s attorney Marc Kasowitch released a statement indicating that Trump will appeal the New York Court of Appeals ruling which “we expect will agree with the dissent:”
‘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.’