Trump asks court to strike parts of lawsuit from ex-campaign staffer

Attorneys representing President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders apologizes to Biden for supporter's op-ed Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Trump' if the US doesn't elect progressive Democrats: McConnell impeachment trial rules a 'cover up,' 'national disgrace' MORE moved Friday to strike parts of a lawsuit accusing the president of kissing a former campaign staffer without her consent in 2016.

In court filings, lawyers for Trump argued that passages of Alva Johnson's lawsuit filed in February contain derogatory news coverage as well as other information about the president's past treatment of women irrelevant to Johnson's complaint.


Johnson, the Trump campaign's former head of outreach in Alabama, accused Trump in February of kissing her on the lips without her consent just before a Florida campaign rally in August 2016.

Trump's lawyers argued Friday that parts of the lawsuit which referred to his behavior around other women, including references to comments Trump had made on "The Howard Stern Show" and on an "Access Hollywood" tape released in 2016, should be struck from the complaint.

"Plaintiff’s Complaint reads more like a supermarket tabloid than a request for legal relief," the president's lawyers wrote in the court filing.

"Despite the narrow scope of Plaintiff’s battery claim arising out of alleged conduct by Mr. Trump on August 24, 2016, and her statutory pay claims against the Campaign, Plaintiff devotes a substantial portion of her Complaint on gratuitous and inflammatory allegations that have nothing to do with Plaintiff or her battery and claims, and serve no purpose but to disparage Mr. Trump," they added.

Johnson's attorney Hassan Zavareei told The Hill in a statement that Trump's lawyers were attempting to hide evidence that showed the "maliciousness of his conduct" towards women, adding that Johnson would fight to keep the the sections of the lawsuit intact.

“Mr. Trump wants to keep out the Access Hollywood tape, where he admits that he can’t help himself from kissing women without their consent. He wants to keep out testimony of almost identical misconduct from women who were kissed by him without their consent," Zavareei said in an emailed statement.

"That evidence is admissible because it shows his intent, his motive, the maliciousness of his conduct, his credibility, and his knowledge that this conduct was unwanted. These women will also verify the impact that this conduct had on them—personally and professionally. This relevant evidence will remain a part of this case," he added.

In an interview with Hill.TV earlier this year, Zavareei argued that Johnson was emboldened to tell her story after the "Access Hollywood" tape was revealed. The tape was publicized weeks before the 2016 election.

“She didn’t really know what it meant until the 'Access Hollywood' tape came out and when she heard that, she immediately felt like Trump was basically explaining to her and the rest of the world exactly what he meant — that this was his M.O. for sexual assault,” he said.