Following extensive delays, former President Donald Trump will face a defamation trial in a lawsuit filed by his rape accuser E. Jean Carroll early next year, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday.
Senior U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan set a trial date for Feb. 6, 2023, unless the case is disposed by “motion or otherwise,” his ruling says — apparently alluding to a possible settlement.
Carroll’s attorney Roberta Kaplan and Trump’s counsel Alina Habba did not immediately respond to Law&Crime’s emails requesting comment.
On Nov. 4, 2019, Carroll sued Trump in state court for defamation, and she went public with her claims that the then-sitting president of the United States raped her in the dressing room of the department store Bergdorf Goodman in the 1990s. The lawsuit focuses less on the sexual assault allegations than Trump’s manner of denying them to reporters.
“She’s not my type,” Trump told the press.
The case was removed to federal court after then-Attorney General Bill Barr’s Department of Justice sought to transfer the case there. The government argued that Trump made his denials in his capacity as the U.S. president, an assertion her attorneys described as offensive.
“There is not a single person in the United States — not the president and not anyone else — whose job description includes slandering women they sexually assaulted,” Carroll’s counsel Kaplan, who is not related to the judge with the same surname, previously said.
Judge Kaplan denied the Justice Department’s bid to change the case caption from Carroll v. Trump to Carroll v. United States. He also routinely criticized Trump and his lawyers for what he described as delay tactics.
“In the days following, defendant, then the president of the United States, attempted to evade service of the complaint at his New York City residence and the White House,” Kaplan wrote in a ruling in March of this year. “Service was completed only by mail after the state court granted plaintiff’s application for alternative service. Defendant then attempted to delay the progress of the lawsuit through frivolous motions practice.”
Kaplan added that Trump’s “litigation tactics have had a dilatory effect and, indeed, strongly suggest that he is acting out of a strong desire to delay any opportunity plaintiff may have to present her case against him.”
The new scheduling order suggests that the time for delay is past.
It calls for discovery to be complete by Nov. 16 of this year. The parties will submit pre-marked trial exhibits on Dec. 8, which will also serve as the date for motions in limine, debating what evidence should be admitted or barred from trial.
The parties previously agreed to conduct depositions of witnesses between Aug. 3 and Oct. 19.
Carroll has long attempted to acquire Trump’s DNA to compare with a stain on the dress that she said she saved from the day of the alleged attack.
This is a developing story.
Read the scheduling order, below:
[Images via Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Glamour, MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images]
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