Attorneys for twice impeached former President Trump are pushing to delay court proceedings (including a deposition by Trump himself) in the defamation case brought by E. Jean Carroll, who in the 90s accused Trump of rape.
Trump was handed a partial victory last week when a federal appeals court ruled that presidents are covered by a law giving that gives legal immunity to government employees. The panel then asked the court to rule on whether the former President was acting “outside the scope” of the presidency under D.C. employment law when he made defamatory statements casting doubt on the Carroll’s credibility as well as demeaning her personal appearance.
Trump attorney Alina Habba wrote:
“The D.C. Court of Appeals’ forthcoming ruling will be case-dispositive and, therefore, it would be highly prejudicial and inequitable for Defendant to engage in time consuming and expensive pre-trial preparation — much less proceed to trial — until this issue has been conclusively resolved.”
Carroll’s attorneys shot back, arguing that the requests were just a delay tactic and noted that Carroll is planning to sue Trump again next month under a new law set to take effect next month in November:
“This case began on November 4, 2019, and it could hardly be clearer that Defendant hopes to ‘run out the clock’ until he is elected president again. A mere change in venue to D.C. for that ongoing appeal does not explain — and certainly does not justify — Defendant’s about-face on whether discovery should continue while the appellate process unfolds.”
Trump’s attorney also argued that the U.S. government should be named as the defendant following the court’s ruling, but Carroll’s lawyer also shot that down, citing the Supreme Court. Trump’s legal counsel later claimed Carroll’s citation of the Supreme Court was “cherry-picking lines.”
Carroll’s counsel also claims that Trump should not be able make both asks simultaneously, because if the court substitutes the federal government as the defendant, the Trump’s attorney wouldn’t have the ability to legally ask for the delay, causing Trump’s lawyers to write “Plaintiff’s refusal to concede that a stay is proper at this time is perplexing and flies in the face of both Supreme Court precedent and the plain language of the Westfall Act.”
In 2019, then President Trump said that Carroll was “totally lying” about the alleged sexual assault, adding “I’ll say it with great respect: Number one, she’s not my type…Number two, it never happened. It never happened, OK?”