Trump lawyers release video allegedly showing kiss mentioned in woman's lawsuit
Lawyers working on behalf of U.S. President Donald Trump have released a video that they say shows the kiss at the centre of a lawsuit against him, which alleged battery, that was dismissed in June.
The video came as part of motion to keep Trump from being deposed in a lawsuit filed by Alva Johnson, an Alabama woman who had worked on his campaign.
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Johnson’s court action was dismissed with prejudice — meaning it can still be refiled within 30 days.
The video was shot in an RV in Tampa, Fla. on Aug. 24, 2016, the same day that Johnson’s lawsuit alleged that he “forcibly kissed” her “in the presence of several of her colleagues and others.”
“The forced and unwanted kiss was deeply offensive to Ms. Johnson,” her lawsuit said.
Trump’s lawyers said the video shows Trump meeting Johnson in the RV and having a “brief, innocent interaction that is mutual — and not forcible.”
“I’ve left my family for eight months for you,” Johnson, wearing a Trump shirt, can apparently be heard telling the candidate in the video.
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The then-presidential candidate can then allegedly be seen holding Johnson by the shoulders, kissing her on her right cheek and saying, “thank you.”
“Eight months for you,” Johnson appears to say afterward.
“We’re going to get you into the White House, I’ll see you in February,” she allegedly added.
Trump’s lawyers alleged that Johnson confirmed in a Monday deposition that the video showed the exchange with Trump that formed the basis of the battery allegation in her lawsuit.
The court motion included a partial transcript of that deposition, which read as follows:
Question: “So the video that I played for you earlier that you’ve watched several times now, that’s a depiction of what happened inside the RV between you and Mr. Trump?”
Johnson: “That was the day, yes.”
Question: “And what’s what happened?”
Johnson: “That is what — that is what happened.”
Johnson also spoke as follows, later in the deposition:
Question: “So let’s — let’s watch it again. There’s a kiss, and then you say — you repeat ‘eight months for you; we’re going to get you in the White House; I’ll see you in February.”
Question: “Those were your words?”
Johnson: “Sounds like my voice.”
Question: “So you said them?”
Johnson: “Yes, it sounds like my voice.”
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Johnson’s lawyer Hassan Zavareei told Politico that her team is “gratified and pleased that we finally have proof what Ms. Johnson has been alleging in this lawsuit.”
“It is basically exactly exactly what Ms. Johnson has been saying,” he said.
Zavareei went on to say that the video shows only small differences from what Johnson alleged in her lawsuit.
“She said Trump was holding her by the hands. In fact, he grabbed her by the shoulders. …Other than that, it’s basically identical to what she alleged.”
Johnson’s team filed a separate document in the case on Wednesday that shed more light on the video.
Her lawyers said that Trump’s defence team delivered to her on July 5 a flash drive that contained over eight hours of video footage of the Trump rally that happened in Tampa.
“Buried deep in his compilation… is a brief video, taken on a cell phone, showing Mr. Trump kissing Ms. Johnson inside a campaign RV on Aug. 24, 2016 — just as Ms. Johnson alleged,” the legal document read.
“While Ms. Johnson remembered some of the minor details incorrectly… it is now indisputable that Mr. Trump in fact kissed Ms. Johnson.”
The document went on to allege that the defendants had “stripped this important video of its metadata and hidden it within the eight hours of other videos, apparently for the purpose of hiding it from Ms. Johnson prior to her deposition.
“Without the appropriate metadata for the video, Ms. Johnson is unable to determine who created the video, when it was created, and other important information about its origins.”