Court rules defamation lawsuit against Trump can proceed

Court rules defamation lawsuit against Trump can proceed
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New York’s highest court on Thursday ruled that the defamation lawsuit a former contestant of “The Apprentice” brought against President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rallies in Nevada amid Supreme Court flurry: 'We're gonna get Brett' Trump: 'Good news' that Obama is campaigning again Trump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada MORE can proceed.

The New York Appeals Court dismissed Trump’s request to put the case on hold while he argues in a lower court that a sitting president can’t be constitutionally sued in state court.

Trump’s legal team is working to keep Trump from having to go through discovery in the case.

New York State Judge Jennifer Schecter ruled last week that Trump can be deposed in the lawsuit brought by Summer Zervos, who’s accused him of unwanted advances.

“This is now the third time the courts have rejected defendant’s effort to block the progress of this case,” Zervos’s attorney Marianne Wang said in a statement. 

“We look forward to continuing the discovery process and exposing the truth.”

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Zervos alleges Trump defamed her when she went public with her allegations during his campaign. She accused Trump of repeatedly kissing and groping her without her consent in 2007 after she appeared on his reality show.

On the campaign trail, Trump’s accused her of making up a “phony” story to get attention, calling her account “100 percent fabricated.”

The lawsuit could prove to be damaging for Trump if he is ultimately forced to sit for a deposition. Court watchers and legal experts say Trump risks lying under oath or making misstatements in the interview.

Schecter has ruled that Zervos’s attorneys have until Jan. 31, 2019, to get Trump’s testimony, and that the interview can last up to seven hours.

A spokesperson for Trump’s lawyers at Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP said Thursday’s decision was based “purely on procedural grounds.”

“The Court of Appeals did not address the merits of the issue at stake here an issue first raised by the U.S. Supreme Court in Clinton v. Jones — namely, that, under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, state courts do not have jurisdiction over a sitting President,” they said.

Updated at 2:44 p.m.