A federal judge rejected Former President Donald Trump’s attempt to stay his testimony in a defamation trial scheduled for later this month, saying Trump’s efforts to delay the case are “inexcusable.”
trump is program to be filed Oct. 19 in the libel lawsuit brought by E. Jean Carroll, a former magazine columnist who accused Trump of raping her at a department store in the mid-1990s. Trump has denied the allegations.
Judge Lewis Kaplan said the trial is not yet over and they are waiting for a federal appeals court to rule on a key part of the case, “the completion of these depositions – which have already been delayed for years – would impose no undue burden on Mr. Trump, let alone any irreparable injury.
“Defendant should not be allowed to run time against Plaintiff’s attempt to obtain redress for what would have been a grievous wrong,” Kaplan wrote.
The judge said Carroll would face ‘significant prejudice’ if further delayed, citing the lengthy appeals process, which has already taken 20 months and is still not complete, and the age of Carroll and Trump , both of whom are in their 60s. Carroll’s deposition is scheduled for this Friday.
Kaplan noted Trump’s efforts to delay the trial and said his production of “virtually” no documents was “inexcusable.”
A lawyer for Trump could not immediately be reached.
“We are pleased that Judge Kaplan has accepted our position to stay discovery in this case. We look forward to filing our case under the Adult Survivors Act and moving to trial expeditiously,” said Roberta Kaplan, Carroll’s attorney.
Carroll’s attorney had suggested that Trump wanted to halt her testimony after learning she intended to sue him in November under a new New York state law that allows victims of sexual assault to continue years after the encounter.
Judge says whether Trump raped Carroll is ‘paramount’ to current case and future trial and stopping deposition now because it could be used in future ‘wouldn’t make sense’ .
Carroll sued Trump for defamation in 2019 after he denied raping her in the mid-1990s and said she was not his type and accused her of fabricating the claim to boost sales of his book.
Trump and the Justice Department argued that Trump was a federal employee, and his statements denying Carroll’s allegations were made in response to questions from reporters while he was in the White House. They argued that the Justice Department should be replaced as a defendant, which, because the government cannot be sued for defamation, would end the lawsuit. Judge Kaplan ruled against Trump and the DOJ. They appealed.
Last month, a federal appeals court ruled that Trump was a federal employee when he dismissed Carroll’s rape and sexual assault allegation. However, the New York Federal Court of Appeals asked the DC Court of Appeals to determine whether Trump was acting within the scope of that employment when he made the allegedly defamatory statements. If the DC court finds Trump was acting within his role, the Justice Department would likely be replaced as a defendant.
The DC Court of Appeals has yet to hear the case.
This story has been updated with additional details.