Attorneys for restaurateur suing president for defamation want access to presidents discussions of other female accusers
Lawyers for Donald Trump argued in court on Tuesday that a former Apprentice TV show contestant should not be able to obtain information on the presidents discussions of other women during the election campaign who have also accused him of sexual misconduct.
The court hearing was the first since a Manhattan judge turned down Trumps attempt to dismiss Summer Zervoss defamation lawsuit or delay it until after his presidency. Zervos has sued the president for saying her sexual misconduct claims were lies.
Its a defamation case, Trumps lawyer Marc Kasowitz told the Manhattan state supreme court justice Jennifer Schecter. As for information about other women who are not part of the case, those claims, that evidence is irrelevant, he said.
Mariann Wang, the lawyer representing Zervos, said outside court that the other womens accusations were indeed relevant: Its a defamation case, so we are required to prove the falsity of the statements, and his statements include statements about other women.
Zervoss lawyers have issued subpoenas seeking a range of information about Trumps behavior toward women, including any Apprentice material that features Zervos or Trump talking about her or discussing other female contestants in a sexual or inappropriate way.
They also have requested any Trump campaign records concerning Zervos, any other woman who has accused Trump of inappropriate touching, or the 2016 emergence of a 2005 Access Hollywood show recording of Trump talking about aggressively groping women.
Zervoss lawyers also have subpoenaed security video, records of Trumps stays and some other information from the Beverly Hills Hotel, where Zervos says Trump made unwelcome advances toward her.
While Trumps lawyers emphasized that they are continuing to ask appeals courts to toss out or postpone the case, the judge set deadlines for a number of information-gathering steps including depositions, or sworn questioning of both Trump and Zervos by 29 January 2019.
Zervos, a California restaurateur, appeared in 2006 on Trumps former reality show, The Apprentice. She says he subjected her to unwanted kissing and groping when she sought career advice in 2007.
The Republican candidate and now president has denied all of the claims, saying they were 100% fabricated and totally false and his accusers were liars.
He specifically contested Zervoss allegations in a statement and retweeted a message that included her photo and described her claims as a hoax.
Zervos says his words hurt her reputation, harmed her business and led to threats against her. She is seeking a retraction, an apology and compensatory and punitive damages.
Trumps attorneys have said his statements were true, and also that his remarks were non-defamatory opinions that came amid the heated public debate of a national political campaign.
They also argue that a sitting president cannot be sued in a state court.
Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us