Special counsel Robert Mueller may have to get in line for a sit-down with Donald Trump if a New York State judge has her way in the case of a former The Apprentice contestant’s defamation lawsuit against the President. In that context, attorney Gloria Allred wants to know why Trump doesn’t want to testify if he has nothing to hide.
After rebuffing an attempt in March by the ex-Apprentice host’s lawyers to have the case tossed, Justice Jennifer Schecter today ordered that depositions in the matter by principals must be concluded by January 31, 2019.
It means Trump could have to sit for up to seven hours in the next several months and answer questions about what actually occurred between him and Summer Zervos. The deadline-setting order from Schecter (read it here) also means that the Art of the Deal author might have to answer queries from other women who have accused the Republican of sexual harassment or assault.
The likelihood of the latter will be determined once Zervos’ lawyers and Trump’s attorney Marc Kasowitz and crew have submitted arguments to the court on why and why not POTUS should have to respond to such questions. As to what form that could take for the much-accused Trump, Zervos’ lawyer Mariann Wang said Tuesday that she wants to bring up issues of women “who have alleged that defendant subjected them to unwanted sexual touching or inappropriate conduct.”
Having recently exited as an attorney for AMC in their drawn-out $300 million battle with CAA and former The Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont over profits from the blockbuster series, Kasowitz made clear that was not a state of affairs Team Trump wanted. Trump’s Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP lawyer asserted Tuesday that he would try to take the case to higher jurisdictions if necessary.
“It’s merely seeking a determination at the highest level of competent jurisdiction as to the resolution of this very important constitutional issue,” Kasowitz said to Schecter, according to reports.
Kasowitz may find himself treading legal water, having also had a panel of five judges in the Empire State’s Supreme Court appellate division last month curb-stomp a motion to stay the defamation suit, which was first filed January 17, 2017.
A participant in the 2006 season of the now-canceled The Apprentice, Zervos first alleged in October 2016 that Trump had attempted to kiss her during private meetings in both New York and Los Angeles in 2007. Around the same time the explosive 2005 Access Hollywood recordings of Trump bragging about accosting women were going public, Zervos additionally claimed in a meeting with Trump at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 2007 that he grabbed her breasts and “thrust his genitals” at her.
Almost right away, even though the statute of limitations had expired on the accusations, Trump lashed out against Zervos and called her a liar, which prompted the defamation action. Facing accusations of inappropriate behavior from a number of women, the now one-time lover of porn star Stormy Daniels also desired to downgrade Zervos’ claims by detailing how she continued to pursue a job with him long after the alleged incidents of sexual harassment. Among other things, Trump said that Zervos contacted him on April 14, 2016 “asking that I visit her restaurant in California.”
With a deposition by Trump now a real possibility, Zervos’ former lawyer has a lot of questions about what’s really going on.
“One has to ask, why has he been trying to avoid his deposition?” asked Allred, who this spring stepped back from the case. Why does Marc Kasowitz not want him to be deposed about whether or not he has sexual assaulted other women?” the well-known attorney and Trump critic adds. “They’ve tried to dismiss, delay and try to appeal and been unsuccessful today so it’s time for them to face the reality, this case is moving forward, he is going to have to sit and answer truthfully under oath.”
“Why wouldn’t Mr. Kasowitz want President Trump be questioned under oath about those other women if he has nothing to hide?” continued Allred. “I know there are many other women who are willing to testify under oath,” the LA-based lawyer made of a point of saying. A thorn in the paw of power for decades, Allred represents a number of other women who have claimed Trump harassed or assaulted them. There’s always risk if he doesn’t testify truthful, then it’s perjury.”
Take a number Mr. Mueller.