A Manhattan Supreme Court judge has ruled that President Trump‘s job in the White House does not give him immunity from a defamation lawsuit filed against him by former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos.
“In Clinton v Jones the United States Supreme Court held that a sitting president is not immune from being sued in federal court for unofficial acts,” Justice Jennifer Schecter wrote in a ruling released Tuesday, according to the New York Post.
“It left open the question of whether concerns of federalism and comity compel a different conclusion for suits brought in state court. Because they do not, defendant’s motion to dismiss this case or hold it in abeyance is denied.”
Last year, Reuters reported thatlawyers for Trump were arguing that a defamation lawsuit against the president brought by Zervos, who has accused Trump of sexual harassment, should be dropped.
The report said lawyers would ask a New York state judge to toss the lawsuit, which was filed by Zervos three days before Trump was inaugurated.
Zervos alleged in the lawsuit that she and her business were damaged after Trump’s derogatory statements about her following her sexual misconduct allegations against the president.
Trump’s lawyers have argued in court filings that the president’s comments were “non-actionable fiery rhetoric.” They have also alleged the statements made by Zervos were politically motivated.
Naomi Mezey, a law professor at Georgetown University, told Bloombergthat the decision is likely to be appealed and may even go to the Supreme Court.
Zervos held a press conference in 2016 in which she described a 2007 incident in which she says Trump groped and kissed her during a meeting about a job opportunity. Trump and his team denied the claims at the time.
BY REBECCA SAVRANSKY – 03/20/18 02:18 PM EDT