Trump Claims ‘Free Speech’ When Denying Sexual Assault Accusations

If Donald Trump calls his sexual assault accusers liars and smears them to the press, thatís not defamation, thatís political speech!

Ö Or so contends Trumpís lawyer, Marc Kasowitz. Itís not yet clear whether the court will accept this argument as a winning one, but thatís how Trumpís attorney is responding to a lawsuit by former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos.

Zervos has alleged that the then-reality host kissed her two times without permission and later groped her breast in a hotel room. However, her lawsuit pertains specifically to the defamation she experienced when he publicly attacked her credibility.

Technically, itís not the argument Trumpís legal team is leading with. Kasowitz will first attempt to use the Supremacy Clause to stop Zervos. The clause in the Constitution stops states from filing cases against a sitting president.

While the extent of the Supremacy Clause is up in the air since it hasnít been tested in front of the Supreme Court, Constitutional experts donít expect Trump will be able to put off the trial Ė after all, Bill Clinton wasnít immune from sexual assault lawsuits while he was president.

Because of the first argumentís likelihood of failing, the other argument is prepared as a backup. The concept is basically that since Trump criticized Zervosís character while on the campaign trail, his words fall under the category of ďpolitical speechĒ and cannot be held to the same standards.

ďPolitical statements in political contexts are non-actionable political opinion,Ē wrote Trumpís attorneys, though it seems like a stretch to call his words ďpolitical speechĒ since they really had nothing to do with particular policy he was promoting at the time.

ďContrary to the defendantís spin, this case is not about robust political debate. Ms. Zervos was not a political opponent, nor was she a political commentator routinely engaged in criticizing candidates,Ē said Zervosís attorneys. ďShe came forward to report the defendantís unwanted sexual battery only after he repeatedly lied publicly about his behavior. Defendant then used his international bully pulpit to violate her for the second time.Ē

Trumpís legal defense is particularly interesting since it does not hinge on the idea that the president was telling the truth. Rather than contesting that it wasnít defamation to call Zervos a liar since the allegations never occurred, heís arguing that the truth doesnít matter since the court allows for a lot of leeway when it comes to political speech. Could it be that his attorneys want to avoid putting Trump in a position to say the assault didnít happen?

Moreover, itís almost hilarious that Trump is hiding behind a generous interpretation of the First Amendment after spending most of his presidency attacking First Amendment rights. Heís regularly flipped out at news media for publishing critical and (what he claims are) false reports about him, yet here he is saying he canít defame someone because of his free speech rights.

Last week when a reporter asked whether it was still the position of the White House that all 16 women who have accused Trump of sexual harassment during his campaign are liars, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed that it was. Presumably, that means Trump still labels Zervos a liar, whether or not he wants to say that under oath.

Thatís a lot of hutzpah coming from a man who, just a year ago, was caught on tape bragging about using his celebrity to sexually assault women. We know that heís done this to women, yet every woman who comes forward to acknowledge that it did is promptly called a liar throughout the media. It sure sounds like defamation to me.

Photo Credit: Michael Vadon/a>

66 comments

Chad Anderson
Chad Anderson27 days ago

"Rights" do not extend to denying others their more basic rights. The right to say offensive things does not extend to facilitating harassment.

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Kimberly W
Kimberly Wallaceabout a month ago

TY

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Carl R
Carl Rabout a month ago

Thanks!!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cABVKIPk_u0

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Veronica D
Veronica Dabout a month ago

Thank you so very much.

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Veronica D
Veronica Dabout a month ago

Thank you so very much.

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Veronica D
Veronica Dabout a month ago

i hate him so much.

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Janis K
Janis Kabout a month ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Karen H
Karen Habout a month ago

Trump's free speech. Hah. A woman gave Trump's motorcade "the finger" and was fired from her job. So much for HER free speech. A man at the same company had posted an objectionable comment on social media, but his apology (don't know how sincere) allowed him to keep his job. Like I said, either EVERYBODY has free speech or NOBODY does.

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Nancy Wrightington
Nancy Wrightingtonabout a month ago

Hey, i just found out tRump's middle isn't john it is Jerko!!

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Rachel -
Rachel -about a month ago

Karen H. I know, that's the day I'm talking about. He got pissed and said their licenses should be challenged, but when a reporter asked for clarification - whether there should be limits on what the media says - he backed off and said, "No. The press should speak more honestly." And then I'm sure he went back to being pissed and calling them fake news, which is exactly what they are. Any time you see virtually all news lining up either in favor or against a politician, it's propaganda.

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