Appeals court de­nies Trump re­quest to stay Zer­vos case

The Mercury News Weekend - - NEWS -

A New York appeals court on Thurs­day re­jected a re­quest from Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump to stay pro­ceed­ings in a defama­tion suit filed by a for­mer con­tes­tant on “The Ap­pren­tice” who has claimed that he sex­u­ally harassed her.

The rul­ing on Thurs­day is a le­gal set­back for Trump, who is fac­ing mul­ti­ple law­suits fo­cused on al­le­ga­tions women have made against him as well as his pub­lic com­ments about those women. It could open him up to dis­cov­ery in the case, although he could also file fur­ther appeals to try to de­lay pro­ceed­ings.

Trump’s at­tor­neys sought a tem­po­rary halt in the case filed by Sum­mer Zer­vos, who has ac­cused him of grop­ing and forcibly kiss­ing her. while they awaited word on their ap­peal of a judge’s rul­ing this year that Zer­vos’ defama­tion law­suit could pro­ceed. Zer­vos sued Trump for defama­tion af­ter he de­nied her ac­cu­sa­tions, along with those of other women who ac­cused him of un­wanted sex­ual con­tact be­fore he was elected pres­i­dent. He called them all “liars.”

At­tor­neys for the pres­i­dent have ar­gued that he was ex­press­ing a po­lit­i­cal opin­ion and could not be sued in state court while in of­fice.

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