Appeals court expedites defamation lawsuit against Donald Trump

Appeals court expedites defamation lawsuit against Donald Trump

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A defamation lawsuit filed by columnist E. Jean Carroll against former president Donald Trump will proceed at an expedited pace, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals ruled, with oral arguments set for January. File Photo by Justin Lane/EPA-EFE

Oct. 26 (UPI) — A defamation lawsuit against former president Donald Trump will now proceed at an expedited pace, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals ruled.

The court scheduled oral arguments for Jan. 10 in the case brought on by columnist E. Jean Carroll, who accused Trump of raping her in a department store change room in the 1990s, according to legal documents.

It also laid out a schedule of filing deadlines beginning next month, through December leading up to the Jan. 10 court date.

The suit stems from a column Carroll penned in 2019.

The long-time Elle columnist’s rape allegations were first published in New York Magazine, in June of 2019 while Trump was president, with an excerpt from her book What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal.

Carroll wrote that Trump approached her in 1995 or 1996 at Bergdorf Goodman department store in Manhattan where she said the former real estate tycoon followed her into a fitting room and raped her.

Trump denied the allegations, calling them “completely false.” Carroll then filed the lawsuit accusing him of defaming her, damaging her reputation and inflicting emotional pain and suffering.

Lawyers deposed Trump last week at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. It’s not clear what was said under oath. That came after repeated attempts by the former president’s legal team to delay the process.

At one point, the Justice Department attempted to block the lawsuit, arguing that Trump was a federal employee at the time it was filed and can’t be sued personally.

“We are pleased that the D.C. Court of Appeals set an expedited schedule to determine the issue certified by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit,” Carroll’s attorney, Robbie Kaplan, said in a statement.

“As we’ve said several times by now, we are eager to get to trial on all of E. Jean’s claims as soon as possible.”

Carroll said she also plans to sue Trump for battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress in November under New York State’s new Adult Survivors Act.

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