A former star of "The Apprentice" whose Trump sexual harassment claims made waves when she gave a press conference earlier this year — she claims the president groped her — may get a legal boost from an unexpected source: Three lawyers behind President Clinton's impeachment.
Summer Zervos, a contestant on the fifth season of "The Apprentice," filed suit against Trump in January, three days after he took office. In her suit, Zervos alleged that Trump defamed her by calling her a liar on the campaign trail after she publicly alleged that he “kissed her on the mouth repeatedly” without her consent, “touched her breast” and “thrust his genitals" at her during private meetings in 2006 and 2007.
Trump's lawyers have argued he is immune to state civil suits while he's in office.
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But three lawyers — Pennsylvania Law School professor Stephen Burbank, Harvard Law School professor Richard Parker and University of Texas law professor Lucas Powe Jr. — disagree, and they've filed a proposed amicus brief arguing that Trump must respond to the suit, the Hollywood Reporter says.
The trio filed a similar brief in the Supreme Court case Clinton vs. Jones two decades ago, arguing that presidents must respond to federal civil suits while in office. The Court agreed, leading to the discovery of the Monica Lewinsky scandal and Clinton's impeachment. Today, the attorneys say the Clinton v. Jones decision also applies to civil suits filed in state courts, like Zervos's.
Trump's lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, filed to have Zervos's lawsuit dismissed in July, saying it was "politically motivated" and that the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution should prevent the case from going forward.
Burbank, Parker and Powe contend that Kasowitz is incorrectly interpreting the Constitution. "No one in our nation is above the law, not even the President," they responded in their amicus brief. "The Supreme Court has accordingly held that the Constitution does not immunize the President against civil suits based on conduct that is wholly unrelated to the President’s execution of his office."
Said Zervos's lawyer Gloria Allred in response to Kasowitz's motion to dismiss: “President Trump should have to defend what he said in a trial in a court of law, rather than just expecting everyone to accept his denials as gospel."