The New York Court of Appeal ruled on Thursday that President Trump should face a defamation suit filed by the Washington Post. former "Summer Contender Zervos, one of a dozen women who accused Trump of sex crimes shortly before the 2016 election
The decision means Zervos' lawyers may have the opportunity to question Trump under oath in the coming months .
Trump called on Zervos and the other women who accused him, "liars," urging Zervos to bring a case in 2017. Trump's lawyers tried unsuccessfully to block the case, claiming the president was immune from such court cases.
In a decision Thursday, a panel of New York appellate judges rejected this argument, citing the US Supreme Court ruling in Clinton v. Jones which found that Presidents could be tried while in power for informal actions. Two of the five judges of the group did not agree in part
"Contrary to the accused's claim, Clinton v. Jones does not assume that his motives are not related to the actions of the state courts," the judges said in the majority ruling. "It just identifies potential constitutional concerns. Notwithstanding this concern, the Court should not be deterred from arguing that the state court may exercise jurisdiction over the President as a civil suit.
The law firm of Zervos welcomed the decision as a confirmation that Trump "was not above
" The case has lasted in court and the discovery continues, "said Marian Wan, Zervos' lawyer. "We look forward to proving to the jury that Mrs. Zervos has told the truth about the unwanted sexual attentions of the accused and held him responsible for the malicious lies."
the opening is expected to end by the end of July.
Trump's lawyer, Mark Kassovitz, disagreed with the decision and said the president planned to appeal to the New York Court of Appeal, "which we expect to agree with
." We believe that well-grounded disagreement with the opinion of 2 The 5 judges, citing the US Supreme Court ruling in the Clinton case against Jones, make it right to conclude that the US constitutional rule clause forbids. state courts to hear cases against the president while he or she is in power, "Kassovitz said in a statement.
The Trump's lawyer did not respond immediately to a request for a comment.
ervos claims that Trump has kissed and touched her during her meeting in December 2007 at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles. Trump Denied Allegations
Another tribulation case against Trump by adult actress Stormy Daniels was dismissed by a federal judge in October. Daniels, whose name is Stephanie Clifford, claims that Trump infuriated her when she said she was lying about threatening to keep silent about their alleged past.
When Daniels was dismissed, US District Judge S. James Otero wrote that Daniels had portrayed Trump as a "political adversary" and that Trump's "rhetorical hyperbole" was a protected speech.
But Zervos's case differs in several key aspects, noted legal experts.
Unlike Daniels, her attorney Michael Avenathi, Zervos and her attorneys have taken a low approach, a step that can help them reject claims that the claim is politically motivated.
The Zervos case is also based on more than a dozen Trump's statements that she and other women have made false accusations against him. In Daniels' case, it's just a Trump statement.
Mark Berman, Alice Crete and Ellis Wibek contributed to this report.