Appeals court: Woman's defamation suit vs. Trump can proceed

Appeals court: Woman's defamation suit vs. Trump can proceed

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.

The decision means that President Trump may have to sit for a sworn deposition, which is now scheduled for June. A deposition has been scheduled for some time before the end of June.

A panel of NY appellate judges issued its ruling Thursday in a case brought by Summer Zervos in which Trump accused her - and numerous other women - of being liars for alleging that he sexually harassed them.

The decision may allow Zervos' lawyers to question Trump under oath about whether he defamed her by calling her a liar after she accused him of sexual misconduct.

Two of the five judges on the panel dissented in part. But the NY appeals court said the clause in no way grants Trump such immunity. "It merely identified a potential constitutional concern".

Zervos's lawyer, Marianne Wang, said in a statement to ABC News that they were "very pleased" at the court's decision. "We look forward to proving that Ms. Zervos told the truth about Defendant's unwanted sexual groping and holding him accountable for his malicious lies".

Trump's lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, said he planned to appeal to New York's highest court.

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Trump's legal team argued that the U.S. Constitution immunizes him from state court lawsuits arising from his private conduct before he took office.

In statements to the media in 2016 and then in her January 2017-filed complaint, Zervos claimed Trump sexually assaulted her twice in 2007. Trump denied the allegations.

Lawyers in another case against Mr. Trump may also received a boost. Numerous allegations about misconduct at the Trump Foundation were first reported by The Washington Post in 2016.

The main crux of Renwick's opinion centered on what she said was a poor reading of the Constitution's Supremacy Clause by Trump's legal team. Among them: James said that the foundation's board, which was legally required to oversee the charity's spending, had not met since 1999. It seeks shorter-term bans on charity service for Trump's children Eric, Ivanka and Donald Jr., who were all members of the foundation's board. Zervos sued for defamation.

Trump also faced a defamation claim by adult film actress Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit over a hush money agreement. That lawsuit was dismissed by a federal judge in October. "The result the Supreme Court reached in Jones. may well have been entirely correct".

Mr Trump also republished on Twitter a post calling Zervos' accusations a "hoax".

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