Donald Trump‘s lawyers are claiming that the president should be immune from the defamation claims brought about by former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos.


Zervos was one of more than a dozen women who accused Trump of sexual assault, and she came forward just days before Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration. During his campaign, Trump claimed that Zervos’ charges were “100% fabricated and made-up” and dubbed her and the other women “liars.”

Trump’s lawyers cited a 1997 court case to say that the charges should be barred as they presented a potential distraction of the president from his duties. In fact, that supreme court case, Clinton v Jones, ruled that presidents in office are not immune to civil litigation, but that immunity questions “should be decided at the earliest possible stage of the litigation.”

Given that about 75 private lawsuits were brought against Trump as he assumed office, this decision could have far-reaching effects. Zervos alleges that Trump aggressively kissed and groped her against her will at his Beverly Hills hotel room in 2007.

“The United States supreme court addressed this legal immunity issue in Clinton v Jones and determined unanimously that no man is above the law and that includes the president of United States,” said Zervos’ attorney Gloria Allred. “We look forward to arguing this issue in court.”

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