By Mark Berman and Frances Stead Sellars | Washington Post

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.

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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. But New York Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Schecter dismissed these claims in an opinion issued March 20, writing: “No one is above the law.”

Trump appealed that decision not long after, saying she was mistaken in not dismissing or staying the case, and his attorneys sought to defer proceedings while the appeal is pending. The Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court denied that request on Thursday, describing it as seeking “a stay of the action …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics


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