epa06257124 US President Donald J. Trump delivers remarks to members of the news media while hosting former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (not pictured)...
MICHAEL REYNOLDS

Defamation lawsuit just became more alarming for Donald Trump

The Rachel Maddow Show, 5/17/18, 9:58 PM ET

Court to Summer Zervos on discovery in Trump lawsuit: Go for it

Rachel Maddow reports on a court ruling that Summer Zervos can proceed with discovery in her lawsuit against Donald Trump. Zervos is suing Trump for defamation after he called her a liar when she described being sexually assaulted by him. Discovery will
As much of the world no doubt recalls, Donald Trump was recorded in 2005 bragging about committing sexual assaults. The Republican said, among other things, that he kisses women he considers attractive – “I don’t even wait,” Trump claimed at the time – which he said he can get away with because of his public profile.

“When you’re a star, they let you do it,” Trump said on the recording. “You can do anything. Grab ‘em by the p—y.”

After Trump denied having done what he bragged about doing, more than a few women came forward to accuse the Republican of sexual misconduct – one of whom, Summer Zervos, is currently suing the president for defamation, after Trump insisted each of his accusers were liars.

Trump’s lawyers have tried a variety of arguments to make the case go away – the president has denied any wrongdoing – but as of yesterday afternoon, those efforts have now failed in two New York courts. And as Rachel noted on the show last night, the next phase in the process is the one Trump and his team have been eager to avoid. The New York Times  reported:

Summer Zervos, a former contestant on “The Apprentice” who accused President Trump of sexual assault, is seeking records to prove that he defamed her by calling her a liar.

A lawyer for Ms. Zervos, who is suing Mr. Trump for defamation in New York, said on Wednesday that subpoenas had been issued both to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer [MGM], which owns archives of the reality show, and to the Beverly Hills Hotel, where Ms. Zervos says he groped her in 2007.

This is a story with a lot of potential.

The president’s attorneys will almost certainly launch another round of appeals, so it’s best not to assume that Zervos’ requests for information will immediately be met, but if/when the discovery phase in this case begins, the plaintiff’s wish list is striking.

Among the things she and her attorneys are seeking are documents from the Trump Organization about the president’s alleged mistreatment of women, recordings from the archives of the president’s former reality show, and surveillance footage from the hotel in which Zervos says she was attacked.

What’s more, the plaintiff’s lawyers have subpoenaed Trump personally – and intend to depose him under oath.

The deadline to respond is May 29. Watch this space.

Donald Trump and Scandals

Defamation lawsuit just became more alarming for Donald Trump