Next Up In Defamation Suit Against Trump: Discovery, Documents, And Depositions, Oh My!
With attorney Michael Avenatti dropping so many bombshells in his zealous representation of his client Stormy Daniels regarding the hush agreement that won’t shut up, it’s easy to forget that President Donald Trump is also facing a defamation suit by Summer Zervos, a former contestant on “The Apprentice.”
So here’s the latest: Yesterday a New York state appellate court handed Trump another legal setback that makes a release of campaign records and depositions from both Trump and other women who have accused him of sexual misconduct more likely.
The First Department of the New York Supreme Court’s Appellate Division issued a one-paragraph order denying Trump’s motion to stay the case during his appeal of New York Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Schechter’s rulingthat Trump was not immune to suit solely because he is a sitting president.
“No one is above the law,” wrote Schechter. “It is settled that the president of the United States has no immunity and is ‘subject to the laws’ for purely private acts.”
In her reasoning, Schechter leaned heavily on a 1997 U.S. Supreme Court in Clinton v. Jones, in which the court allowed a lawsuit by Paula Jones against Bill Clinton to proceed, finding that a sitting president could be sued in federal court. Clinton and Jones settled out of court.
Translation: The appellate court ruled that there is no legal justification to delay the case, which can now move to discovery, barring any other appeals by Trump.
Trump’s attorney Mark Kasowitz says the appellate court’s decision denying the stay is wrong.
“There is no valid reason in this case — in which plaintiff is seeking merely $3,000 in damages, and which plaintiff’s counsel has repeatedly insisted was brought for political purposes — for the court not to grant the requested stay in order to take the time to first decide the threshold constitutional issue that is at stake.”