A federal judge in Manhattan on Friday denied Donald Trump’s latest attempt to delay a defamation trial with writer E. Jean Carroll set for January.
Carroll sued Trump in 2019, alleging he defamed her when he denied her allegation that he raped her, said she wasn’t his “type” and suggested she made up the allegation to sell a book. The case has been tied up in litigation because Trump was president at the time he made the statements.
In a court order, district Judge Lewis Kaplan denied Trump’s motion to stay the case pending an appeal. Trump had asked Kaplan to allow the delay while his legal team litigates an appeal of the judge’s ruling that found Trump previously waived the use of presidential immunity as a defense to the defamation lawsuit.
Kaplan said he is not required to stay the case while the appeals court considers the issue.
“While there is a public interest in immunizing presidents for actions properly taken within the scope of their duties, there is a public interest also in ensuring that even presidents will be held accountable for actions that – as this Court already has determined in this case – do not come within that scope,” Kaplan wrote.
The judge also opposed any further delay reiterating his concerns over Trump and Carroll’s “advanced” ages. Trump is 77; Carroll is 79. Kaplan is also in his late 70s.
“Both parties are of advanced age, and a stay of this case pending resolution of Mr. Trump’s appeal would threaten delaying any compensation to which Ms. Carroll might be entitled by at least several months, if not a year or more,” the order says.
Carroll’s attorneys had opposed Trump’s motion for the stay, arguing that a delay would put the trial in the crosshairs of his other criminal trials and the presidential campaign.
Kaplan also accused Trump of stalling the litigation with Carroll for years. This is the fourth attempt to delay the trial, Kaplan’s order said.
Carroll separately sued Trump in 2022 under the New York Adult Survivors Act for battery and defamation for statements he made in October 2022. That case went to trial this spring and a jury found Trump sexually abused Carroll and defamed her. She was awarded $5 million.
Earlier this month, Kaplan tossed a counter-defamation lawsuit Trump filed against Carroll for statements she made after the jury verdict. Trump’s attorneys have appealed that ruling.