Trump lawyers push dismissal of sexual harassment lawsuit

Lawyers for President Trump called for the dismissal of a sexual harassment lawsuit against the president in court on Friday, claiming in part that the president cannot be sued in state court while in office.

The suit was filed by a former contestant on the president’s former NBC reality show “The Apprentice.”


Summer Zervos, who appeared on the reality show in 2006, filed a lawsuit in New York claiming that Trump had defamed her with derogatory remarks about her complaints of sexual harassment during his 2016 campaign, according to the Washington Post.

Zervos has accused Trump of assaulting her at The Beverly Hills Hotel while discussing a job offer for her to start working for the Trump Organization after her stint on the reality show.

Marc Kasowitz, a Trump attorney who is also representing the president amid the ongoing investigation into possible Russian ties to his presidential campaign team, argued for the dismissal of the case in a 53-page memo to the court late Friday, the Post reported.

Kasowitz argued for dismissal or postponement of the case on the grounds that the claims were false and intended only to defame the president. 

He also said the president’s comments while on the campaign trail regarding women who made sexual harassment claims against him were “nothing more than heated campaign rhetoric designed to persuade the public audience that Mr. Trump should be elected president irrespective of what the media and his opponents had claimed over his 18-month campaign.”

The Supreme Court ruled in 1997 that presidents could be sued for private conduct while serving in office, which led to the impeachment proceedings filed against former President Bill Clinton related to a sexual harassment lawsuit during his time in office.

Kasowitz argued that Zervos’ case, which was filed to the New York Supreme Court, was invalid because the 1997 decision applies only to suits filed in federal courts.

The Post notes that Trump faces a number of lawsuits that have been filed in state courts, meaning a decision could have implications for a number of suits.

Eleven women accused the president of sexual harassment during the final weeks of his campaign, after a 2005 “Access Hollywood” video surfaced in which Trump bragged about grabbing women.

Zervos’ lawyers, including Gloria Allred, have until August to respond to Kasowitz’s court filing.

Tags Bill Clinton Donald Trump Gloria Allred Marc Kasowitz Sexual harassment
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