“I’m fighting against a person with unlimited resources, and repeatedly the judicial system has failed to find fault in his behavior.”
About six months ago, Alva Johnson, former Trump campaign staffer accused President Trump of forcibly kissing her. Johnson made the rounds, tearfully recounting the incident.
At the time, eye-witnesses denied the veracity of Johnson’s claim. And then video of the alleged incident surfaced.
I mean, really.
According to The Daily Beast, Johnson dropped her suit, complaining she was “fighting against a person with unlimited resources, and repeatedly the judicial system has failed to find fault in his behavior.”
The former Trump campaign staffer who accused the president of forcibly kissing her during an August 2016 rally has decided to drop her lawsuit.
“I’m fighting against a person with unlimited resources, and repeatedly the judicial system has failed to find fault in his behavior,” Alva Johnson, 44, told The Daily Beast on Wednesday. “That’s a huge mountain to climb.”
Johnson initially filed her lawsuit in February, claiming that Trump grabbed her and leaned in to kiss her on the lips in an RV during the Tampa event, and that she turned her head at the last minute to avoid the “super-creepy and inappropriate” encounter, causing him to plant the kiss on her cheek instead.
She also accused Trump of gender and race pay discrimination.
Then-White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied Johnson’s account at the time of the suit’s filing, claiming the kiss “never happened and is directly contradicted by multiple highly credible eyewitness accounts.”
When video evidence of the encounter was reported by Politico in July, lawyers for Trump and Johnson both claimed the footage vindicated their clients. President Trump’s lawyer, Charles Harder, posted the 15-second clip online and submitted it in court documents as part of discovery in the case. Harder said in those documents that the recording proved Johnson’s suit was “unmeritorious and frivolous,” calling the exchange “an innocent moment between a dedicated campaign staffer and the candidate for whom she was working.”
Johnson, who has said she previously met Trump twice before, can be heard saying in the video: “We’re going to get you in the White House; I’ll see you in February.”
In the same court filings, Trump’s attorneys also included a brief, personal declaration from the president saying he did not remember ever meeting Johnson. “I do not know plaintiff Alva Johnson or recall having any interactions with her,” he said.
But Johnson’s lawyer, Hassan Zavareei, said on Wednesday in a statement to The Daily Beast that the video “shows Trump grabbing Alva by the shoulders, pulling her into him, and kissing her in front of numerous co-workers and others” and that it proved Johnson was “telling the truth about what her employer did to her.”
Zavareei called Trump “the most powerful sexual predator on the face of the Earth,” in light of the more than a dozen other women who have come forward with allegations of misconduct against Trump, including attempted rape, groping, and forcible kisses.
Though Johnson doesn’t appear shaken in the video, she has repeatedly said that she did not fully appreciate the interaction until she heard the now-infamous audio recording from the Access Hollywood tape in October 2016, when Trump bragged that he used his fame to forcibly kiss and grab women “by the pussy.”
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