Trump ordered to hand over groping documents

Donald Trump, Summer Zervos and Gloria Allred.
Donald Trump, Summer Zervos and Gloria Allred. Photo credit: Getty/Newshub.

Donald Trump has been issued a subpoena asking for any documents he has concerning women who've accused the US President of touching them "inappropriately".

Mr Trump has been accused by multiple women of groping, many of whom came forward after the infamous "grab them by the p***y" tape emerged during the presidential election campaign.

One of them was Summer Zervos, a contestant on Mr Trump's reality TV show The Apprentice in 2007. He denied the accusation and called her a liar. She responded in January with a defamation suit.

The subpoena covers not just the President himself, but his entire campaign - including employees, partners and attorneys.

Mr Trump's legal team argued that as President, he is immune to civil prosecution. They also said the subpoena was too broad, and demanded "irrelevant information intended solely to harass the President".

The subpoena was issued in March, but was only made publicly available in September. Ms Zervos' lawyer Gloria Allred provided the subpoena as evidence her demands weren't "far-reaching", as Mr Trump's legal team claimed, and it was uncovered by Buzzfeed News on Monday (NZ time).

Ms Zervos claims Mr Trump grabbed and kissed her in a hotel after he invited her over to discuss a possible role in his company.

Whether Mr Trump will be required to hand over the documents may rest on a judge's decision concerning whether a defamation suit can proceed against a sitting President.

There is no due date on when Mr Trump is expected to hand over the documents.

"The subpoena was served, but we agreed with the campaign to adjourn their response date until after the motion to dismiss is decided, as long as they gave us assurances that the documents be preserved (which they did,)" Ms Allred told NBC News.

Ms Allred says Mr Trump's team has until the end of the month to file their response to the subpoena. Once that has happened, a court date will be set.

"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," Ms Allred said in a statement.

Subpoenas carry the force of law, but can be disputed - as Mr Trump's legal team is doing. Failure to comply can result in charges, fines or even prison.