Lawyers for President Donald Trump are borrowing a page from former President Bill Clinton’s playbook in trying to claim immunity from sexual harassment charges while serving as President of the U.S.
The lawsuit brought by a former contestant on The Apprentice, as reported by USA TODAY, is the impetus for President Trump’s private lawyers claiming that Mr. Trump’s should be shielded from Summer Zervos’ defamation lawsuit since he is currently president. The memo speaks about the “high respect” due the office of the presidency, quotes the Constitution, and writes about the nearly $3,000 in damages sought by Summer and the timing of the lawsuit.
However, President Trump is attempting to use a strategy that didn’t work for Bill Clinton, reports the Los Angeles Times. Former President Clinton also attempted to block a woman’s sexual harassment battle against him when the California woman named Paula Jones said Mr. Clinton groped her in the Beverly Hills Hotel in 2007. It’s a legal tactic that might not work, and the case could travel all the way to the Supreme Court.
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The lawsuit from Zervos, according to The Guardian, claims that Mr. Trump defamed Summer during his presidential campaign when he took to Twitter to claim that Zervos’ accusations against him were “100% fabricated and made-up” and “nonsense,” essentially calling all the women who accused President Trump of sexual impropriety liars.
Summer’s lawsuit, according to the New York Post, featured Gloria Allred coming to her defense.
“Summer seeks vindication of her rights and reputation for what her lawsuit alleges was personal misconduct by then-candidate Trump prior to his having been elected to the office of the President of the United States.”
President Trump wants to get out of lawsuits in state courts until he leaves office, reports the Washington Post. Mr. Trump’s attorney wrote his defense in a legal filing in New York this week, claiming that Mr. Trump should be immune from all sorts of civil litigation filed against President Trump in state court.
Trump hopes to stop the lawsuit, reports The Hill, at least until President Trump is former President Trump, as Mr. Trump’s longtime lawyer Marc Kasowitz’s legal briefs desire. The paperwork claims that Mr. Trump is too busy being President Trump to deal with a sexual misconduct lawsuit right now, reports MSNBC.
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The defense is being called bizarre since it did not work for former President Clinton. Whether the tactic will also fall flat for President Trump over charges of alleged unwanted sexual advances remains to be seen. Zervos claimed that Mr. Trump tried to kiss her twice and allegedly sexually assaulted her in a hotel room in 2007 with “disgusting touching” and going on to call her a liar in public via social media years later. It’s a big legal move that could cast an even bigger shadow over President Trump’s coming days or years in the White House.
It’s a notion that has The Atlantic asking, “Is President Trump Above the Law?”
Whether President Trump will have the lawsuit dismissed for at least four years, or have to deal with the lawsuit sooner than Mr. Trump would like should be revealed when a judge rules on the coming legal maneuvers. Folks on social media are already weighing in on the issue, as seen from some of the sample comments below.
“Nope, Trump should not be above the law… Summer Zervos’s case should be heard.”
“Trump files to get out of defamation lawsuit because of ‘executive privilege.’ What a slime.”
“Trump’s mouthpieces cite the unsuccessful horny hillbilly (aka Clinton v Jones) precedent…”
[Featured Image by Pablo Martinez Monsivais and Ringo H.W. Chiu/AP Images]