Trump agrees to turn over his calendar in defamation suit filed by former ‘Apprentice’ contestant
President Trump has agreed to produce portions of his calendar from 2007 and 2008 as part of discovery in a defamation lawsuit brought by former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos, according to a proposed court order signed by attorneys for all parties.
The agreement submitted late Tuesday to a New York trial court stated that the Trump Organization “shall produce defendant’s calendars and/or journal entries” from November 2007 to February 2008 and that the parties will meet with the company “regarding the production of [Trump’s] phone records.”
The period of time includes Trump’s activities in December 2007, the month in which Zervos claims he forcibly kissed and groped her at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles.
Trump has denied the allegations and called Zervos and other women who have accused him of sexual assault “liars.”
Zervos attorney Mariann Wang, Trump attorney Marc Kasowitz and Trump Organization attorney Alan Garten — all of whom signed the proposed order — did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Lawyers for Zervos are seeking evidence to bolster her case, which has survived multiple attempts by Trump’s legal team to kill or stall it since she filed it last year.
A judge has allowed Zervos to seek discovery — including possibly deposing the president — as the two sides wait for a panel of New York appellate judges to rule on Trump’s latest move to block the lawsuit.
Trump’s attorneys have argued that he cannot be sued for unofficial acts in state court while he is president. That claim appeared to meet with skepticism from several members of the appellate panel during a hearing.
In the proposed order they submitted Tuesday, lawyers for Trump and Zervos said they will also discuss which “people and entities” are within Trump’s “possession, custody, or control” for the purpose of discovery, including addressing “the status of the Trump Organization and the [Trump presidential] Campaign.” They are scheduled to address any related disputes, as well as the status of outstanding subpoenas, in a telephone conference with the court next week.
New York Supreme Court Justice Jennifer G. Schecter has set a deadline of Jan. 31 for the parties to give depositions, which means Trump may face questioning under oath in the coming months.
Schecter on Friday partly granted Zervos’ motion to compel certain elements of discovery, ruling that Trump must give evidence related to his response to Zervos’ allegations but that he does not have to provide answers or documents related to other women’s sexual misconduct allegations against him.
“Plaintiff has not shown that the information and documents sought that are factually, completely unrelated to her and her claim, and relate solely to other women’s allegations, have any legitimate legal bearing on the controversy . . . [or] could result in discovery of evidence that would be relevant and potentially admissible at trial,” she said Friday during a hearing.
But Trump must respond to questions and requests for documents related to “how [he] responded to public statements alleging that he engaged in inappropriate conduct, such as plaintiff’s statements” and “whether he had a strategy in responding to such statements.”
The information “potentially bears on whether in making the statements that he made about plaintiff, he may have done so with actual malice,” Schecter said.
Elise Viebeck writes for The Washington Post.
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