Six Mexican-Americans who say they were assaulted by Donald Trump’s security team at a 2015 protest outside Trump Tower scored a significant victory on Friday, when a New York judge ordered Trump himself to give testimony under oath in a lawsuit filed against him by the protesters, according to an Associated Press report. The judge, Bronx Supreme Court Justice Doris Gonzalez, swatted aside an attempt by Trump to quash a subpoena demanding his testimony.
Now, Politico reported on Sunday, Trump and his lawyers are scrambling to figure out a way to defy the judge’s order and keep Trump from testifying. Gonzalez ordered that Trump must videotape his testimony under oath prior to the scheduled opening of a trial in the case. That gives Trump and his legal team until Thursday, September 26, to get Trump out of his testimony.
The 2015 protest at which the lawsuit’s plaintiffs claim they were attacked by the Trump security detail — where the group was protesting the anti-Mexican comments made by Trump in his campaign kickoff speech and in campaign rallies — took place well before Trump won the election and assumed office. As Politico noted, in a landmark 1997 decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled that a sitting president must testify if called in legal actions regarding events that occurred before he took office.
The ruling forced President Bill Clinton to give sworn testimony in a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by Arkansas state worker Paula Jones.
The order to compel Trump’s testimony has jumped to the top of his legal priority list, Politico reported, even though Trump is now facing some of the most serious accusations of his term so far — that he may have bribed the government of Ukraine to stage a bogus “investigation” of Trump’s chief Democratic rival, Joe Biden, as The Inquisitr has reported.
The Trump Organization and Trump’s former personal security chief Keith Schiller are also named in the lawsuit by the protesters, leading the judge to rule Trump’s testimony “indispensable” due to his close relationship to the other defendants in the case, according to the AP.
“More than 200 years ago our founders sought to escape an oppressive, tyrannical governance in which absolute power vested with a monarch,” Gonzalez wrote in her ruling, posted online by Politico. “A fear of the recurrence of tyranny birthed our three-branch government adorned with checks and balances. No government official, including the Executive, is above the law.”
While Trump’s lawyers may ask for a further delay in the case, to put off Trump’s testimony, Politico reported that because the lawsuit has already waited four years to come to trial, chances appear slim that the judge would grant another significant delay — leaving Trump with little option other than an emergency appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.