Before President-elect Donald Trump heads to the White House on Jan. 20, he will find himself back in the witness chair for questioning in his ongoing contractual dispute with celebrity chef, Jose Andres.
DC Superior Court Judge Jennifer A. Di Toro ruled Wednesday that Trump must sit for a deposition in New York City the first week of January, and it may last up to seven hours.
Trump sued Andres for breach of contract after Andres backed out of a plan for a restaurant in Trump’s new luxury hotel in Washington. Andres claimed he canceled plans for the project after Trump made disparaging remarks about Mexicans during the presidential campaign.
Trump’s attorneys previously agreed to his deposition in New York City, but sought to limit the length and scope of questioning, arguing in court filings that “Mr. Trump is not just any apex deponent; he is the President-elect … It is not an overstatement that he is extremely busy handling matters of very significant public importance.”
But Di Toro was not moved, ruling Wednesday that limiting Trump’s examination would be too prejudicial to the defense team’s right to prepare the case for trial, and “Mr. Trump’s own statements are at the heart” of the parties’ claims.
Trump’s transition team did not respond to CNN’s request for comment. His attorney at Seyfarth Shaw LLP had no comment.
On Tuesday, Andres suggested the parties bring their lawsuit to an end and instead donate money to a veterans organization, tweeting: “Mr. @realDonaldTrump can we end our lawsuits and we donate $ to a Veterans NGO to celebrate? Why keep litigating? Let’s both of us win.”