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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Trump rape case: A judge postponed one of E. Jean Carroll's defamation claims against the former president — but her sexual assault claim will still be heard in April

Trump rape case: A judge postponed one of E. Jean Carroll's defamation claims against the former president — but her sexual assault claim will still be heard in April

Carroll has filed two lawsuits against Trump. Her second lawsuit, which includes claims of defamation and rape, is headed to trial next month.

One of E. Jean Carroll's defamation lawsuits against former President Donald Trump was indefinitely postponed on Monday, while an appeals court continues to decide whether Trump can even be sued in the case.

The longtime Elle advice columnist's legal battle with Trump dates back to 2019, when she accused him in a New York magazine article of raping her in a Bergdorf Goodman changing room in the mid-1990s.

After Trump loudly denied Carroll's allegations in statements to the press, calling her a liar and saying she was not his type, Carroll sued him for defamation.

Carroll filed a second lawsuit against Trump late last year under a New York law that temporarily allowed the filing of sexual assault lawsuits in cases where the statute of limitations had expired. That lawsuit also includes claims for defamation for Trump's continued denials of her rape allegations after he left the White House.

E. Jean Carroll.


Carroll's original lawsuit against Trump has been held up in the courts for years as both Trump's lawyers and the Department of Justice have fought to remove the former president as a defendant in the case.

They argue that Trump was protected by the Westfall Act, which protects federal employees from being sued for actions on the job. Trump's lawyers and the DOJ argue that his statements to the media about Carroll were part of his duties as president. Carroll argues that the Westfall Act doesn't apply because Trump was speaking about a personal matter that predates his time as president.

Initially, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, who is presiding over both cases, ruled in Carroll's favor and allowed the defamation claim to proceed. Trump's lawyers appealed Kaplan's decision to the US Court of Appeals, which overturned Kaplan's ruling. But the court also said there was some uncertainty over whether Trump's comments were made within the scope of his employment, and asked the DC Court of Appeals to weigh in. That court heard arguments in January but has not published its response yet.

Last week, lawyers for both sides asked that Judge Kaplan consolidate both cases, with both being tried on April 25. But Kaplan denied that request on Monday, since — depending on which what the DC Court of Appeals says — the first Carroll lawsuit might not even make it to trial. The second lawsuit is still scheduled to start trial on April 25.

Trump's attorney, Alina Habba, told Insider on Monday that she thinks "the adjournment of the first Carroll case is the right decision given that we are waiting on an important decision from the DC Court of Appeals."

Carroll's attorney, Roberta Kaplan (no relation to the judge), declined to comment.

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