Summer Zervos, a former contestant on The Apprentice, came forward in October 2016 with an allegation that Trump had non-consensually kissed and groped her in 2007. Zervos was one of a dozen women who accused Trump of sexual assault or sexual misconduct during the 2016 election cycle.
In response, Trump threatened to sue the women. "The events never happened. Never. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over," he stated during a campaign rally. In January, Zervos filed a lawsuit against Trump for defamation and emotional distress.
Although the subpoena was issued in March, its existence didn't come to light until BuzzFeed broke the story today. After the subpoena was served, Zervos' lawyers and Trump's campaign agreed to suspend the response date until after a motion to dismiss the lawsuit was decided. Trump's lawyers argued that, because Zervos filed the lawsuit in the New York State Supreme Court, it cannot proceed against a sitting president.
"Ms. Zervos does not and cannot state a cause of action for defamation under California law, which applies here because Ms. Zervos is domiciled and was purportedly injured there. The allegedly defamatory statements were made during a national political campaign that involved heated political debate in political forums," Trump's lawyers argued in a court motion. "Statements made in that context are properly viewed by courts a part of the expected fiery rhetoric, hyperbole and opinion that is squarely protected by the First Amendment."
The subpoena asks for "all documents concerning any accusations that were made during Donald J. Trump’s election campaign for president, that he subjected any woman to unwanted sexual touching and/or sexually inappropriate behavior."
The subpoena made its way into the court file last month when one of Zervos' lawyers, Gloria Allred, filed it as part of a motion disputing Trump's legal team's argument that the subpoena was too "far-reaching."
According to Allred, Trump must respond to Zervos' motion by October 31. "We are hopeful that the court will deny President Trump’s motion to dismiss, so that we may move forward with discovery and obtain relevant documents and testimony," Allred said.