LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 27: Adult film actress/director Stormy Daniels attends the 2018 Adult Video News Awards at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on January...
Gabe Ginsberg

Trump to answer questions, under oath, in defamation case

As much of the world no doubt recalls, 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.

The Washington Post  reported that Trump, unable to make the case go away, will now have to answer questions in the case under oath.

President Trump will provide written answers under oath in the defamation lawsuit brought by former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos, who claims Trump sexually assaulted her in 2007, a new court filing stated.

Lawyers for Trump and Zervos agreed this week to exchange “written answers and objections” to formal written questions by Sept. 28, according to a document filed Friday with the New York State Supreme Court. Rules in New York state require interrogatories to be sworn or verified, according to a source familiar with the system, meaning that false answers could open Trump to charges of perjury.

It’s those last nine words that are of particular interest. Trump apparently won’t have to give verbal testimony – a setting in which the president, given what we know of his tendencies, is far more likely to lie – but the written Q&A should help move the case along.

Indeed, with the deadline just 18 days away, we should expect to see the next steps in the process unfold fairly quickly.

All of which leads to the latest developments in one of the other related presidential controversies. In the Stormy Daniels scandal, NBC News reported:

President Donald Trump does not believe porn actress Stormy Daniels’ hush-money deal, which his former personal lawyer said was done to influence the 2016 presidential election, is valid and will not carry out threats to sue her for breaking the agreement by discussing details of their alleged affair, Trump’s attorney said in a court filing Saturday.

Hours earlier, an attorney for the company set up to handle the deal offered to rescind Daniels’ nondisclosure agreement. The company, Essential Consultants, also scrapped a threatened $20 million lawsuit against Daniels.

As a practical matter, this is important for a couple of reasons. First, Daniels was facing some significant risks after discussing her alleged sexual relationship with Trump, and those risks now appear to be evaporating. Indeed, Daniels and her attorney sued to invalidate the hush-money agreement, and Trump’s legal team is now asking that she end her litigation, since the president’s lawyers have effectively conceded the underlying point.

Second, if a court agrees that there’s no longer any point in allowing the litigation to continue, Michael Avenatti, Daniels’ lawyer, will not be able to push the president to give sworn testimony.

Watch this space.

Donald Trump and Scandals

Trump to answer questions, under oath, in defamation case