Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Lawyers: Trump too busy to face woman's defamation lawsuit

Lawyers: Trump too busy to face woman's defamation lawsuit

From Thomas Jefferson to Jerry Seinfeld, Donald Trump's attorney on Tuesday invoked the giants of American jurisprudence in an effort to save the sitting us president from having to appear in state court to face a defamation complaint.

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President Donald Trump's attorney is trying to get a defamation lawsuit filed by a former "Apprentice" contestant who alleges Trump sexually assaulted her in 2007 dismissed on the grounds it will interfere with his job as president.

Though the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Clinton v. Jones established that a sitting president could be sued for private actions occurring before they take office, Trump's camp has argued that this case does not apply because it's being held in state rather than federal court.

Zervos' decision to keep quiet changed in the final weeks of the 2016 presidential election, she said, after the release of an audio tape of comments that Trump made to Billy Bush on the set of "Access Hollywood".

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Today's hearing will likely not be the last to address the Supremacy issue.

"State court can't exercise any control over the president under any circumstances", Kasowitz said during the hearing, according to ABC News.

Trump's attorneys have asked Justice Jennifer Schecter to dismiss the case.

Trump and the accusers may also have to face questioning by lawyers about these claims.

But in a surprising allowance, Kasowitz acknowledged that Zervos case could have been removed to federal court with proceedings there but for the mere $3,000 being alleged by Zervos in damages. They have alleged the statements made by Zervos were politically motivated.

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Mariann Wang, appearing at the hearing on behalf of Zervos, told the judge that Kasowitz "is making creative arguments out of a footnote".

"That no man is above the law, including the President of the United States", Allred said.

It is not clear how soon the judge will rule, if she allows the case to forward and if that case is upheld. The president also has said that his denials did not subject Ms. Zervos or the other women to the ridicule or contempt necessary to prove defamation. "I wanted to give Mr. Trump the opportunity to retract his false statements about me and the other women who came forward".

Joseph Cammarata, who represented Paula Jones against Clinton, told The Washington Post that the legal maneuver "opens (Trump) up to have to answer questions about sexual relations, other relationships, what might have been said, to open up your whole life". During a presidential debate previous year, he said that several women accusing him of inappropriate behavior were "either being put forward by the [Hillary] Clinton campaign" or were motivated to come forward by "getting '10 minutes of fame, ' and nothing more", the complaint added. He cited an old case concerning Jerry Seinfeld to argue they couldn't. Her lawsuit sought an apology and at least $2,914.

President Trump could be called to testify.

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