Donald Trump couldn’t seem to get a hotel room organized in Hamburg for the G-20 summit, but the President’s lawyer was sure to move late tonight to try to get former The Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos’ defamation lawsuit against the ex-reality-TV host thrown out. And one of his main targets seems to be attorney Gloria Allred.
“Ms. Zervos and her counsel have openly conceded — indeed, bragged — that their true motivation is to use this action for political purposes as a pretext to obtain broad discovery that they hoped could be used in impeachment hearings to distract from the President’s agenda,” states the memorandum of law accompanying the motion for dismissal filed Friday in New York state court by Trump’s top attorney Marc Kasowitz of NYC’s Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP (read it here).
In her defamation suit filed three days before Trump was sworn in, Zervos called the ex-Apprentice host a “liar and misogynist.”
“This action should be dismissed in its entirety,” the rarely understated Kasowitz added in tonight’s filing, which was accompanied by dozens of exhibits of media clippings and even a press release by Zervos’ lawyer Allred, who seems to be one of the main wedges Trump’s legal crew is trying to get traction off.
Not that Allred is the only angle the President’s personal lawyers are ginning up.
“First, and fundamentally, the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution prevents this State Court from hearing this action, whatever its merit or lack thereof, against a sitting President,” Kasowitz goes on to argue broadly and jurisdictionally in the 53-page memo. While refuting the initial sexual assault allegations, the filing tonight never actually denies Zervos’ accusations of defamation directly. “The action therefore should be dismissed without prejudice to Ms. Zervos refiling after the President leaves office, or stayed until such time,” the filing also brazenly asserts, along with more rhetoric of its own and the opinion of Zervos’ cousin that she is simply seeking notoriety.
Allred did not respond to request for comment from Deadline tonight on the dismissal filing. Her client has until later this summer to respond in the courts.
A participant in the 2006 season of the now-shuttered NBC show, Zervos alleged during last year’s election that Trump tried in meetings in both New York and LA in 2007 to kiss her. Around the same time that the now infamous Access Hollywood recordings from 2005 were going public and looked to sink The Art Of The Deal author’s candidacy, Zervos also claimed that in the latter meeting with Trump at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 2007 he grabbed her breasts and “thrust his genitals” at her in his bungalow on the property. Zervos was seeking a job in one of Trump’s businesses but was disappointed in the salary she was offered, she admitted at a press conference last year with Allred by her side.
On the campaign trail, seemingly behind in the polls against Hillary Clinton and facing accusations of inappropriate behavior from a number of women, Trump typically swung back, accusing Zervos of being a “liar.” The candidate also detailed how Zervos had continued to pursue a job with him and even reached out to him in April 14, 2016 “asking that I visit her restaurant in California.”
As a part of what could be considered the far-reaching and with deep implications points put forth by Kasowitz in his desire for a dismissal is that the statements by Trump were OK in context. The remarks by the often quick to hit back candidate and now Commander-in-Chief were “nothing more than heated campaign rhetoric designed to persuade the public audience that Mr. Trump should be elected president irrespective of what the media and his opponents had claimed over his 18-month campaign.”
Yep, it was just standard stuff — like the President last week tweeting out videos of him attacking a man with a CNN logo superimposed on his head or more on the Russian investigation, which Kasowitz is helping him with too.
Allred may be a target for the Trump Team in this suit, as she was for Bill Cosby’s defense in his recent rape case mistrial, but they’ve certainly given her a lot to work with tonight – let’s see where the L.A.-based lawyer takes it when she responds for her client.