Trump and The Apprentice

Posted on Dec 6, 2017 in Business Litigation

Yesterday, President Trump argued he was immune from any state court action, attempting to dismiss the lawsuit filed by a former “Apprentice” contestant who says Trump sexually assaulted her in 2007. Summer Zervos, a former contestant on the Apprentice, is seeking an apology and minimal damages, claiming that Trump defamed her after she came out with allegations that he groped her and made other unwanted sexual contact multiple times during a business meeting at a hotel in Beverly Hills, California, in 2007. Trump did state After she came out with the allegations, Trump was quoted as saying the allegations were “all made up,” adding: “Lies. Lies. No witnesses. No nothing. All big lies.”

The lawsuit is just one of dozens the president is facing around the country; Trump was facing at least 75 suits as of last October, according to a USA Today report. It’s unclear how many of those cases are still open, or how Zervos’ suit will affect them. Under current law, President Donald Trump is immune from civil lawsuits in federal court, when it comes to his official acts as president. But a legal battle playing out in New York could determine if Mr. Trump and future presidents are subject to civil suits in state court over their private conduct.

In the 1997 case Clinton v. Jones,the court ruled that sitting presidents could be subject to civil lawsuits in federal court over non-official acts. The decision only applies to litigation at the federal level, however, and did not address whether a president is immune from civil lawsuits over private issues in state court. “President Trump’s lawyers are entirely right that the Supreme Court has not decided this question,” said Stephen Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law, adding that the president’s attorneys “are seizing on [the] language” of the ruling. However, Clinton v. Jones makes clear that the President is not entitled to any immunity because the case involved unofficial conduct by him before he assumed office.

This should therefore be yet another judicial loss for Da Donald.

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