In a move that could have big implications for the much-investigaed ex-Celebrity Apprentice host, a NY state appeals court today shut down Trump's ongoing desire to dodge Summer Zervos' legal action in its affirmation of a lower court ruling that POTUS can't get out of the case just because he is in the Oval Office.
A NY appeals court on Thursday rejected President Trump's attempt to block the defamation suit of an Orange County woman who says he lied during the 2016 campaign about sexually assaulting her at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
The appeals court called Ms Zervos's case "materially indistinguishable" from former Arkansas state employee Paula Jones's lawsuit accusing then-president Bill Clinton of sexual harassment.
A panel of NY appellate judges issued its ruling Thursday in a case brought by Summer Zervos in which Trump accused her - and numerous other women - of being liars for alleging that he sexually harassed them.
Zervos has claimed that Trump forcibly kissed and groped her during a December 2007 encounter at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles.
A U.S. Supreme Court decision in the similar federal case Clinton v. Jones acknowledged that a hypothetical state court case would involve separate issues, and thus the Jones case didn't control such a situation.
Zervos first came forward about the incidents during the 2016 campaign, after an infamous Access Hollywood tape emerged showing Trump boasting about grabbing women's genitals.
Mr. Trump's legal team had argued that the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution prevents a sitting president of the United States from being sued in state court.
They also say his remarks were opinions that he had a free-speech right to express in the course of a heated campaign.
The reality TV contestant's lawsuit claims that the President's repeated denials of her sexual misconduct allegations are factual falsehoods that have subjected her to threats and cost her business at her Southern California restaurant.
Marc Kasowitz, Trump's attorney, said that they would take the case to the state's highest court, the Court of Appeals. It prompted Zervos to then file the suit.
In 1997, the U.S. Supreme Court let Jones' case go forward. That paved the way for Clinton's impeachment the following year.
The trial judge has allowed discovery to move forward while the president's appeal was pending.
She says she didn't go public with her allegations for nearly a decade because she admired Trump as a businessman and thought he had had just a couple of episodes of bad behavior with her.
The judges said in an opinion written by Justice Dianne T. Renwick: 'The current sitting President attempts to shield himself from consequences for his alleged unofficial misconduct by relying upon the constitutional protection of the Presidency.
"We are very pleased that the First Department has affirmed once again that (Trump) 'is not above the law, '" Wang said in a statement Thursday.