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No one is above the law. It is settled that the President of the United States has no immunity and is "subject to the laws" for purely private acts.
In 2005, plaintiff Summer Zervos, a California resident, was a contestant on The Apprentice, a reality show starring and produced by defendant Donald J. Trump. In 2007, plaintiff met with defendant at his New York office. He allegedly kissed her twice on the lips, making her "uncomfortable, nervous and embarrassed" On January 17, 2017, plaintiff commenced an action for defamation, alleging that defendant made defamatory statements about her "knowing they were false and/or with reckless disregard for their truth or falsity". She asserted that as a direct result of the false statements and being "branded a liar who came forward only for fame or at the manipulation of the Clinton campaign," she suffered emotionally and financially. She pleads that defendant's statements contained numerous false representations about her, "including that [her] description of being subjected to unwanted sexual touching by defendant was a lie, phony, a hoax and 'made up,' and that [she] was motivated by fame and/or directed by Clinton or the Democrats". She contended that she "suffered at least $2,914" in financial losses because her restaurant lost business. Three days after this action was filed, defendant became the 45th President of the United States. He now moves for dismissal or for a continuance of this case until he leaves office.
Is the President of the United States immune from suit for purely private acts?
Because there is no authority for delaying adjudication and because plaintiff has stated a cause of action, defendant's motion was denied. No one is above the law. It is settled that the President of the United States has no immunity and is "subject to the laws" for purely private acts (Clinton, 520 U.S. at 696). In Clinton v Jones, the United States Supreme Court made clear that "immunities are grounded in 'the nature of the function performed, not the identity of the actor who performed it'". There, the Court required then-President William Jefferson Clinton to defend against a civil-rights action that included a state-law defamation claim in federal court. The Court concluded that the President was subject to suit because regardless of the outcome there was no "possibility that the decision [would] curtail the scope of the official powers of the Executive Branch"