December 18, 2017
Trump's Approval Rating Nose Dives As Bill For Sexual Assault Investigation Is Introduced

Popular opinion polls out this week show Donald Trump's approval rating has plummeted to an all-time low. The Daily Beast reports that Donald Trump's approval rating from Pew and Monmouth University polls report his latest approval rating is 32 percent. In the same week as these approval ratings, Democrats in the House have introduced a bill to have Congress launch an investigation into the multiple sexual assault allegations still standing against Donald Trump.

Additionally, in the wake of a resignation by Senator Al Franken, two Democrat senators are calling for Donald Trump to resign due to sexual assault allegations, reports CNN.

The Daily Beast reports that President Nixon was at 22 percent approval rating when he resigned in August of 1974. Political pundits are saying that Donald Trump is near a "tipping point" with these new polls. Reagan historian Craig Shirley says the following.

"Going below 30 percent kept Truman from seeking another term and going below 30 percent eventually drove Nixon out of office. In the modern era, beginning with FDR, presidents get into trouble when they fall below 30."
The Daily Beast also reports that more than 100 Congress members are asking for an investigation into the sexual assault allegations against Donald Trump. Also noted in the Monmouth University poll is that the president is losing voters in the area of Independent women. Only 24 percent of Independents listed as female voters said they approve of Donald Trump's job performance.

It is not just Independent women that Donald Trump is losing support from. Share Blue reports that Donald Trump is also losing working-class voters who were a large chunk of his 2016 win. A Des Moines Register poll shows that Donald Trump has dropped nine points in Iowa, a key battleground state. Donald Trump's approval rating in Iowa is at 35 percent, according to this poll.

Nick Ford, a poll respondent who is also a Navy veteran, said it "seems like it's one big mess." He also described Trump as being "overwhelmed by the task" of the presidency. Share Blue described Donald Trump's first year in office as a "colossal failure" after reporting these numbers.

In the wake of President Trump's approval rating taking a nosedive across the country, Democrat lawmakers introduced a bill this week asking Congress to investigate claims of sexual assault that are currently against Donald Trump, reports the Hill. This followed calls from two senators who are asking Donald Trump to resign, as Senator Franken is expected to resign over his own series of allegations.

Democrat Rep. Meeks of New York introduced a resolution calling for an investigation into Donald Trump to occur in a current Congress committee. Conversely, Rep. Meeks proposes the development of a new committee specifically designed to test the claims multiple women have that say Donald Trump sexually assaulted them. Rep. Meeks said the following.

"In this pivotal time, when the nation should be able to look to a President for moral leadership, we must look elsewhere. Instead of stamping out sexism, President Trump – who has bragged about committing sexual assault himself – has fanned its flames. He has resorted to claiming that all of the thirteen women with credible sexual misconduct allegations against him are liars. Well, it is time to get to the bottom of it."
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has also denied the allegations for the president, reports the Hill.
"I can say that the president has directly responded and said that these allegations are false and that's what I'm doing and relaying that information to you."
CNN reports that Democrat Senator Cory Booker and Democrat Senator Jeff Merkley are leading the way in the Senate in calls for Donald Trump to resign. Senator Cory Booker said the following.
"I just watched Sen. Al Franke do the honorable thing and resign from his office. My question is, why isn't Donald Trump doing the same thing – who has more serious allegations against him, with more women who have come forward. The fact pattern on him is far more damning than the fact pattern on Al Franken."
CNN reports that 17 women have allegations against Donald Trump. In a climate where sexual harassment and sexual assault are making headlines daily, the calls for resignation could be having an impact on Trump's approval rating.

Donald Trump has not only denied the allegations, he has called every accuser a liar. During a campaign rally in New Hampshire in 2016, he also threatened to sue his accusers after the election campaign in 2016.

"Every woman lied when they came in to hurt my campaign, total fabrication, the events never happened. Never. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over."

Donald Trump has not yet sued his accusers. It is unclear if he will. The White House has taken the position that the Trump accusers are liars as well.


While Donald Trump may not be taking any of his accusers to court yet, at least one of his accusers is taking him to court. The Washington Post reports that former cast member of The Apprentice, Summer Zervos, is suing Donald Trump for defamation of character for calling her a liar.

If that case proceeds, deposition testimony from Donald Trump could be made public. Naomi Mezey, a law professor at Georgetown University, said the following on whether the case has a chance of proceeding.

"An allegation of defamation against somebody who can seem flamboyantly reckless with the truth may have a higher probability of sticking. Some women feel equally injured and sometimes more outraged by being publicly attacked and called liars for doing what they feel was very brave and in some respects a public service."
Summer Zervos Hearing

Summer Zervos alleges that in 2007 Donald Trump assaulted her in moves that included kissing, groping, and thrusting, according to the Washington Post. Summer Zervos is reportedly being represented pro bono by Gloria Allred.

Documents related to the case have been subpoenaed by Gloria Allred from the Trump campaign in 2016. Summer's lawyers are waiting to release the documents until rulings on the defamation case have been made. David Marcus, a law professor at the University of Arizona said the following.

"My read of the case is that it is designed to force the president to make public material that he would prefer to keep private."
Donald Trump's attorneys have argued that he is immune from the lawsuit as a president. But the Supreme Court did not agree with President Clinton's attorneys in 1997 when they made that argument in Clinton v. Jones. The Washington Post notes that Trump's lawyers are arguing that was a federal case, whereas the Zervos case is a state case and are arguing the Supreme Court ruling does not apply.

Susan Low Bloch, a professor at Georgetown University law school, said, "The precedent is not on Trump's side."

Summer Zervos says in her claims that she has experienced damages since Trump called her a liar in the way of death threats and costs to her business. Another Donald Trump accuser reports similar experiences, reports Business Insider. Palm Beach resident Mindy McGillivray said she had to move from her home after making allegations against Donald Trump public.

McGillivray says she was groped by Donald Trump in 2003. She told Business Insider the following happened to her after she reported her Donald Trump story to the Palm Beach Post.

"I was a nervous wreck. But I felt like this was a time to be courageous. The guy's a liar and I wanted people to know that. People are going to find out who this guy really is."
To date, approximately 17 women have come forward as a Donald Trump accuser. The Washington Post reports there are "10 or 11 other women waiting in the wings."

How this pending lawsuit will impact Donald Trump's approval rating or the calls that already exist for his resignation remains to be seen.