Summer Zervos, a former contestant on “The Apprentice,” has filed a lawsuit against President Trump. However, his lawyer says she cannot sue The President of the United States of America.
Trump’s longtime attorney, Marc Kasowitz, filed new documents with the Manhattan Supreme Court in response to the suit. He cited the Supreme Court case which pitted then-President Bill Clinton against Paula Jones. Kasowitz claims that defamation claims cannot be pursued by Summer Zervos against Donald Trump while he is still the President.
In January, Zervos filed a lawsuit against the newly appointed President. She alleged that he smeared character, portraying her as a liar during his presidential campaign. The reality TV star says that this came after she made public allegations about Trump, claiming that during 2007 meetings, he repeatedly:
- Kissed her on her mouth without consent
- Touched her breasts
- Pressed up against her with his genitals
Kasowitz cites the US Constitution’s Supremacy Clause as the reason the lawsuit should not be allowed to proceed until Trump is no longer the President.
The clause “immunizes the President from being sued in state court while in office,” papers argue.
“President Trump intends to file a motion to dismiss the complaint … and/or a motion to stay this action until the end of his Presidency on the crucial constitutional grounds that this Court lacks authority to adjudicate Zervos’s claim under, among other things, the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution.”
Papers note that the “crucial threshold issue” of whether a sitting President can be sued in state court was raised but not decided by the Supreme Court when it considered a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by Paula Jones against then-President Bill Clinton.
The landmark 1997 decision focused on whether Clinton was immune from a federal lawsuit, leaving open the question of whether a President can face a state case.
Constitutional Law expert Floyd Abrams said the Jones case created a strong precedent.
“I think the courts will rule the president is subject to the same laws of general application as the rest of us,” Abrams said.
“And that the notion of an all-encompassing immunity for him is unacceptable in a Democratic society.”