The European Union has opened a case challenging the Trump administration's steel and aluminum tariffs at the World Trade Organization (WTO). The tariffs went into effect Friday morning over the protests of U.S. allies in Europe as well as Canada and Mexico, and European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom initiated the case immediately thereafter.
"We are not in a trade war, but we are in a very difficult situation caused by the United States," Malmstrom said. "I would not use the term 'trade war,' because it has a psychological effect," she continued, but the "U.S. is playing a dangerous game here. [For the EU] not responding will be the same as accepting these tariffs, which we consider illegal under WTO rules."
Malmstrom cast the Trump administration and China, which is the subject of a separate WTO case brought by the EU, as threats to the global market. "If players in the world do not stick to the rule book, the system might collapse," she said. In addition to the case, the EU plans to levy retaliatory tariffs against America.
A lawyer for former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos, who has accused President Trump of sexual assault and is suing him for defamation, said on Wednesday she has issued subpoenas to the company that owns archives of The Apprentice and the Beverly Hills Hotel, where Zervos says she was groped by Trump in 2007.
"We're gathering evidence that we believe will prove that the defendant lied when he falsely denigrated Ms. Zervos and when he denied sexually assaulting her," attorney Mariann Wang told The New York Times. Wang said Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has been asked to hand over any documents, video, or audio featuring Zervos or Trump talking about Zervos, as well as any recording where Trump can be heard discussing women "in any sexual or inappropriate manner." The subpoena for the Beverly Hills Hotel seeks records from any of Trump's stays from 2005 to 2009, as well as documents related to his bodyguard Keith Schiller, his assistant Rhona Graff, or Zervos.
Zervos came forward with her accusations during Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. He denied the allegations and called her a liar, which resulted in Zervos filing a defamation lawsuit last year. In March, over the objections of Trump's lawyers, a judge in New York ruled her suit could proceed. Catherine Garcia
Actress Ashley Judd filed a lawsuit Monday in Los Angeles County against Harvey Weinstein, accusing the disgraced former producer of sexual harassment, defamation, and retaliation.
In her lawsuit, Judd says Weinstein invited her to a breakfast meeting at a Beverly Hills hotel room about 20 years ago, and greeted her in only a bathrobe. He asked her for a massage and to watch him shower, the suit claims, and when she refused, he told Peter Jackson, the director of the Lord of the Rings movies, that Judd was a "nightmare to work with" and needed to be avoided "at all costs." Late last year, Jackson told a New Zealand media outlet that this conversation took place.
A spokesman for Weinstein denied the allegations and claimed Weinstein "championed her work" and approved Judd for casting in two of his movies, 2002's Frida and 2009's Crossing Over. Judd first came forward with the allegations against Weinstein last year, when she spoke with The New York Times. Catherine Garcia
A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia do have the legal standing to sue President Trump for allegedly receiving improper payments from states and foreign governments through the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., in violation of the Constitution.
The emoluments clause of the Constitution prohibits the president and other federal officials from accepting payments or gifts from states and foreign governments. The Trump International Hotel opened in 2016, and the plaintiffs argue that it has an unfair advantage over other hotels in the area because of its link to Trump. In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte said their allegation is "bolstered by explicit statements from certain foreign government officials indicating that they are clearly choosing to stay at the president's hotel because, as one representative of a foreign government has stated, they want him to know 'I love your new hotel.'"
The Trump Organization has never publicly shared how much money has been spent at the hotel by foreign governments and states, but prosecutors could seek those documents if the suit progresses, NBC News reports. Catherine Garcia
A New York judge on Tuesday rejected President Trump's motion to dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed by Summer Zervos, a contestant on The Apprentice in 2005.
Zervos has claimed that in 2007, Trump kissed her on the lips twice in his New York office, making her "uncomfortable, nervous, and embarrassed." She also alleged that while at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Trump kissed and groped her, and pressed his genitals against her. In January 2017, Zervos filed a defamation suit against Trump, after he made inflammatory comments on the campaign trail about Zervos and other women who accused him of sexual misconduct.
In her decision, Judge Jennifer Schecter wrote that "no one is above the law" and "nothing in the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution even suggests that the president cannot be called to account before a state court for wrongful conduct that bears no relationship to any federal executive responsibility." Trump's attorney, Marc Kasowitz, has argued that Trump's comments were just political rhetoric, and on Tuesday, he said he will appeal the decision. Catherine Garcia
The family of Seth Rich, a Democratic National Committee staffer who was killed in 2016, has filed a lawsuit against Fox News, investigative reporter Malia Zimmerman, and commentator Ed Butowsky over a story Rich's family says contained "false and fabricated facts."
Rich was killed in Washington, D.C., in July 2016, and police told the Rich family it's possible robbery was a factor; his murder remains unsolved. At the time, the 27-year-old was a voter-expansion data director with the DNC. In a lawsuit obtained by ABC News, Rich's family says a Fox News article posted on May 16, 2017, contained incorrect information that sparked conspiracy theories falsely linking Rich's murder to WikiLeaks' release of 20,000 hacked DNC emails. Fox News retracted the story later that month.
The suit claims that Zimmerman and Butowsky contacted Rich's parents, Joel and Mary Rich, under false pretenses and they "aided and abetted the intentional infliction of emotional distress" caused by the "sham story." In a statement, Joel and Mary Rich said that "no parent should ever have to live through what we have been forced to endure. The pain and anguish that comes from seeing your murdered son's life and legacy treated as a mere political football is beyond comprehension." Butowsky told ABC News the lawsuit is "one of the dumbest" he's ever seen. Catherine Garcia
The lawsuit particularly targets the decision to raise the age to purchase a gun in Florida from 18 to 21. Because "for almost all purposes and certainly for the purposes of the exercise of fundamental constitutional rights" an 18-year-old is considered an adult, the NRA argues, denying Americans ages 18-20 the right to buy a gun violates both the Second Amendment and the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause.
The suit says Florida's new law is especially unfair to young women who may wish to purchase guns, because "[f]emales between the ages of 18 and 21 pose a relatively slight risk of perpetrating a school shooting ... or, for that matter, a violent crime of any kind." In addition to such constitutional concerns, the NRA said, "preventing a responsible 20-year-old from purchasing the best tool for self-defense will not stop a deranged criminal intent on committing a crime." Bonnie Kristian
Adult-film actress Stormy Daniels filed a lawsuit against President Trump on Tuesday, claiming that the deal she made to keep silent on details of a relationship with Trump is invalid. While Daniels and Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen signed a non-disclosure agreement, the suit says, Trump did not.
The suit, obtained by NBC News, alleges that Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, had an intimate relationship with Trump that lasted from the summer of 2006 "well into the year 2007," with trysts taking place in Lake Tahoe and the Beverly Hills Hotel. Appended to the suit are two agreements: A "hush agreement" that refers to Daniels as "Peggy Peterson" and Trump as "David Dennison," and a side letter agreement revealing that Peterson is Clifford and Dennison is Trump.
The hush agreement states that $130,000 will be paid to the trust account of Clifford's attorney and in exchange, Clifford would stay mum on the relationship and refrain from sharing texts or photos from Trump. Both documents, NBC News reports, have blank spaces where "DD" was supposed to sign; Daniels and Cohen signed them just days before the election, on Oct. 28, 2016. The suit asks the Los Angeles County Superior Court to declare that both agreements "were never formed, and therefore do not exist," and also alleges that Cohen has been trying to intimidate Daniels into silence, with his last attempt on Feb. 27. Catherine Garcia