Judge paves way for impeachment of Trump in defamation case

NEW YORK – A federal judge has denied a request by former President Donald Trump to stay proceedings in a defamation case brought against him in 2019 by an author who said he raped her in the dressing room of a department store he decades ago.

The ruling clears the way for Trump, who denies the request, to be filed as scheduled next week.

In the lawsuit brought against Trump by former Elle magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll, Trump recently obtained a temporary stay from the United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, which sent the case back to court. appeal from DC to determine if Trump was a federal government. employee as defined by law when he publicly refuted Carroll’s story.

On behalf of Trump, the Justice Department previously tried to intervene in the case on the grounds that he was technically a US government employee when he occupied the White House and had legal protection from civil lawsuits. because he was acting within the scope of his employment. when he denied Carroll’s account and made derogatory comments about it.

U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan had dismissed the Justice Department’s attempted intervention, which would have effectively extinguished the case as immunity from liability likely would have applied. Kaplan’s decision was overturned last month by the 2nd Circuit, but the DC Court of Appeals was ultimately able to uphold the original decision to exclude the Justice Department.

In Kaplan’s ruling on Wednesday, the judge said Trump and Carroll’s depositions were essentially all the parties had left to complete the discovery process before trial. Carroll is expected to testify on Friday, while Trump is expected to testify on October 19.

“The completion of these depositions — which have already been delayed for years — would impose no undue burden on Mr. Trump, much less cause irreparable injury,” Kaplan said.

Carroll has publicly accused Trump of sexually assaulting her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in the 1990s, a claim the former president flatly denies. She should drop additional claims alleging assault and battery and the intentional infliction of emotional distress under New York’s Adult Survivors Act, which opens a window of time for sexual assault accusers to sue for alleged events that passed the time limit prescription.

“We are pleased that Judge Kaplan has accepted our position not to stay discovery in this case,” said Carroll’s attorney Roberta Kaplan, who is not related to the judge in the case. “We look forward to filing our case under the Adult Survivors Act and moving to trial expeditiously.”

Trump could still appeal Wednesday’s decision before his deposition next week. It was not immediately clear if he planned to do so. In a lengthy statement, he called the US justice system a “broken disgrace” and repeated some of the comments about his accuser that would be defamatory.

“We look forward to officially establishing that this case is, and always has been, entirely without merit,” Trump attorney Alina Habba said in a statement.

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