Steve Benen (MSNBC/MaddowBlog) reports that a New York court adds to Trump’s legal troubles in Zervos case. Zervos’ lawyers have expressed an interest in quizzing Trump under oath, and that now appears to be far more likely to actually happen.
Donald Trump may not have much to do, but he’s clearly keeping his lawyers busy. After all, the former president is already facing investigations in Georgia and New York, and the Republican is reportedly concerned about the prospects of being held criminally liable for his role in inciting the Jan. 6 riot.
But don’t forget: there are civil cases, too.
Former President Donald Trump could face questioning under oath about a former “Apprentice” contestant’s sexual assault allegations against him, following a ruling from New York’s highest court Tuesday.
For those who may need a refresher, let’s review how we arrived at this point.
Shortly before the 2016 presidential election, Americans heard a recording in which Donald Trump was heard bragging about committing sexual assaults. The Republican said, among other things, that he kisses women he considers attractive – “I don’t even wait,” Trump claimed at the time – which he said he can get away with because of his public profile.
“When you’re a star, they let you do it,” Trump said on the recording. “You can do anything. Grab ’em by the p***y.”
After Trump denied having done what he bragged about doing, more than a few women came forward to accuse the Republican of sexual misconduct – one of whom, Summer Zervos, is currently suing the president for defamation, after Trump insisted each of his accusers were liars.
Trump and his lawyers have spent years trying to make the case go away, insisting that a sitting president is immune to civil suits in state courts. Yesterday, New York’s highest court issued a one-sentence order, rejecting Trump’s appeal – the question about a case involving a sitting president obviously no longer applies since the Republican is now a private citizen.
“Defendant’s appeal should be dismissed, and this matter should be remanded for further proceedings,” the order said.
For Trump, the legal setback likely stings, but it’s the next steps that will probably be a bigger problem. Zervos’ defamation lawsuit is poised to begin its evidence-gathering phase. As the Associated Press’ report added, the plaintiff’s lawyers have expressed an interest in quizzing Trump under oath, and that now appears to be far more likely.