A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Ashley Judd may pursue her allegations that Harvey Weinstein blackballed her after she declined his sexual advances.
Now, Trump’s attorney Marc Kaswowitz is strongly suggesting that if the judge forces the handover of these documents, Trump will be issuing subpoenas to nearly two dozen women accusing him of sexual assault. And that, adds Kasowitz, will become a spectacle.
“Rather than sharpening the issues for trial, the Request would result in significant delay and prolixity and likely lead to ‘unfettered litigation,’ including in excess of 21 mini-trials concerning each of the women identified,” states a memorandum in opposition to document requests. “The parties would have to subpoena each of these women to disprove each of their accusations. The invasive discovery would lead to a media circus that would risk tainting the jury pool and lead to additional ‘mini-trials,’ as plaintiff acknowledges, concerning the admissibility of the accusations and whether the conduct was sufficiently similar, as well as the witnesses’ credibility.”
Trump previously attempted to avoid this lawsuit while serving in office by holding up the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
“No one is above the law,” responded the judge in allowing the lawsuit to move forward last March.
Trump is “reserving all rights to his immunity” under the Supremacy Clause, but hasn’t attempted to petition the U.S. Supreme Court on the issue of whether lawsuits may proceed in state court against the leader of the federal executive branch. Doing so now could inject some political consideration into the pending nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the high court.
Nevertheless, Trump wants the judge to give “special consideration to the burdens” of being the nation’s leader and invokes an almost-forgotten 2002 decision concerning a request to depose Bill Clinton in a lawsuit over Primary Colors, a thinly veiled novel about Clinton’s presidential campaign.
“This Court gave deference to the burden on former President Clinton in denying a request to depose him, noting that he ‘still has important responsibilities to fulfill, and should not have his valuable time taken away to appear unnecessarily at a deposition,'” writes Kasowitz. “A sitting President should be accorded even greater respect.”
According to Trump’s brief, the demand for “irrelevant” information about illicit sexual conduct towards other women amounts to “propensity evidence,” an inadmissible testing of his character.
Zervos asserts that the document requests are necessary for several reasons including showing Trump exhibited a pattern of behavior.