March 21, 2023

TAKE A SEAT: Trump ordered to answer to E. Jean Carroll’s rape accusations

TAKE A SEAT: Trump ordered to answer to E. Jean Carroll's rape accusations

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A federal judge has rejected former president Donald Trump’s attempt to “pause” his deposition in a defamation lawsuit scheduled for later this month, saying Trump’s efforts to delay the case are “inexcusable.”

Trump is scheduled to be deposed under oath on October 19th in the defamation lawsuit brought by E. Jean Carroll, the former Elle magazine advice columnist and author who accused Trump of raping her in a Bergdorf Goodman’s dressing room in Manhattan in the mid-1990s.

Trump has denied the allegations while doing all he can to delay appearing in court. Carroll sued Trump for defamation in 2019 after he denied raping her by saying that she “wasn’t his type” and accused her of fabricating the claim to boost sales of her book.

Judge Lewis Kaplan said the lawsuit wasn’t over yet, and as they wait for a federal appeals court to rule on a key element of the case, “completing those depositions – which have already been delayed for years – would impose no undue burden on Mr. Trump, let alone any irreparable injury,” he wrote.

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The judge said that Carroll would face “substantial injury” from further delay, citing the lengthy appeal process, which has already taken 20 months and is still not over, and the ages of Carroll and Trump, who are both in their 70s. Carroll’s deposition is scheduled for this Friday.

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Judge Kaplan noted Trump’s efforts to delay the lawsuit and said his production of “virtually” no documents was “inexcusable.”

“The defendant should not be permitted to run the clock out on plaintiff’s attempt to gain a remedy for what allegedly was a serious wrong,” Judge Kaplan wrote. The judge said the question of whether Trump raped Carroll is “paramount” to the current case and the future lawsuit and stopping the deposition now because it could be used in the future “would make no sense.”

Carroll’s attorney, Robbie Kaplan (no relation to the judge), had suggested that Trump wanted to stop his deposition after learning that she intends to sue him in November under a new New York state law that allows victims of sexual assault to sue years after the encounter.

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The Justice Department, under both the Trump and Biden administrations, is siding with Trump in arguing that the US government should be substituted for Trump as a defendant, a move that would have the effect of forcing the defamation case’s dismissal. Late last month, a federal appeals court opened the door to allow the DOJ to shield Trump for his conduct while in office.

However, the federal appeals court in New York asked the DC appeals court–which has yet to take up the matter–to determine if Trump was acting within the scope of that employment when he made the allegedly defamatory statements. If the DC court finds that Trump was acting within his role, then the Justice Department would likely be substituted as a defendant.

Follow Tara Dublin on Twitter @taradublinrocks.

Tara Dublin

Tara Dublin is a woefully unrepresented writer who thinks more people would read her cool rock & roll love story inspired by Dave Grohl than any ghostwritten GOP crapbook, agents & publishers. Follow Tara on Twitter @taradublinrocks

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