E. Jean Carroll no longer seeks Trump’s deposition in defamation lawsuit
Lawyers for E. Jean Carroll is no longer seeking to depose former President Donald Trump in their defamation lawsuit, saying it would cause too much delay.
Roberta Kaplan, who represents Carroll, told reporters after a nearly hour-long hearing in federal court on Tuesday that they changed their minds given the former president’s litigation history and desire to go to trial as soon as possible.
Kaplan is still looking for a sample of Trump’s DNA.
Carroll sued Trump in 2019, alleging he defamed her when he denied her allegations that Trump raped her in the dressing room of a New York City department store in the mid-1990s, reportedly saying that she was not his type and alleged that she had claimed to increase sales of her book. . Trump denied the assault.
On Tuesday, Carroll told reporters she would never “settle” the lawsuit, saying she was not only fighting for herself but for all the women who were assaulted.
Kaplan said she was “perfectly happy to question” Trump on the witness stand, should the case go to trial, describing the trial as a “he said, she said” affair.
After the hearing, Trump’s lawyer, Alina Habba, said the decision to no longer seek Trump’s deposition was “surprising” and that it was the “first I’ve heard of it.”
The change in strategy was discussed during a court hearing on Tuesday regarding Trump’s efforts to modify his response to Carroll’s libel lawsuit and countersuit under New York’s amended anti-SLAPP law, which may be used to thwart frivolous libel suits.
In the filing, Trump’s attorneys alleged that Carroll sued Trump for “retribution” for his truthful statements and “for the sole purpose of harassing, punishing, or maliciously interfering with his free speech.”
Carroll’s lawyers opposed the motion, saying Trump waited too long to press charges and suggesting it was a delay tactic. “The impropriety of Trump’s undue delay is amplified by its consistency with a broader pattern of bad faith and delaying measures throughout this litigation,” his attorneys wrote in a brief.
Judge Lewis Kaplan was skeptical of Trump’s lawyers’ arguments in court on Tuesday.
“All of this cannot be enforced in federal court. Period. Exclamation mark,” the judge said.
Habba argued that there were broader public policy issues at stake and that the move would render anti-SLAPP laws toothless and lead to forum shopping.
Judge Kaplan said: “Sometimes it is the product of a federalist system. He did not comment on the arguments.
The libel case is still pending as the parties await a decision from an appeals court on whether Carroll’s libel suit could proceed.
Trump and the Justice Department are appealing Judge Kaplan’s previous ruling that he could move forward. Trump and the DOJ argued that Trump was a federal employee, and his statements denying Carroll’s allegations were made in response to questions from reporters while he was in the White House. They argued that the Justice Department should be replaced as a defendant, which, because the government cannot be sued for defamation, would end the lawsuit.