Judge denies Trump’s request to stop E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit
A federal judge has denied a request from former President Trump to stop a defamation case brought against him by columnist E. Jean Carroll from moving forward.
Judge Lewis Kaplan of the Southern District of New York issued a motion to stay without prejudice on Wednesday, which effectively rejected Trump’s request to make the Department of Justice the defendant in the case instead of him.
That substitution, according to CNN, would have essentially ended the legal action because a department cannot be sued for defamation.
The Justice Department, under both the Trump and Biden administrations, has argued that the former president’s actions were within the scope of his employment when he answered questions about Carroll’s accusations.
The decision by Kaplan puts the lawsuit back on track after it was on hold for almost a year while Trump and the Justice Department worked through an appeal, CNN noted.
The ruling could open the door to Carroll’s attorneys issuing subpoenas for documents, records and a DNA sample from Trump to bolster her claims that the former president sexually assaulted her, according to the network.
Carroll sued Trump for defamation after he denied her accusation of rape. He previously said the columnist is not his type and contended that she made up the allegation to increase sales for her book.
Carroll says that Trump raped her in a New York department store in the mid-1990s and is arguing that the former president defamed her when he denied her allegation.
Trump’s lawyers first requested a stay on the proceedings in December 2020 while working through an appeal.
A written order did not accompany Kaplan’s motion, nor was there an opinion to explain his ruling.
Because the order was issued “without prejudice,” Trump’s legal team can renew the request if it chooses to. It could also seek a stay on the proceedings with the appeals court.
Oral arguments are scheduled to take place in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals the week of Nov. 29.
Roberta Kaplan, attorney for Carroll, said her team is reviewing the order and is looking forward to the upcoming oral arguments.
“We’re looking forward to oral argument in our case before the Second Circuit during the week of November 29. In the meantime, we are reviewing Judge Kaplan’s order,” Roberta Kaplan told The Hill in a statement.
The Hill reached out to Trump for comment.