A federal judge has denied former President Trump’s fourth attempt to halt the defamation case leveled against him by writer E. Jean Carroll.
In a 17-page opinion released Friday, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan called Trump’s latest motion to stay the case “frivolous” and said it was “yet another such attempt to delay unduly the resolution” of Carroll’s lawsuit. The judge said Trump’s lawyers have not made any argument different from points the court has rejected in their three previous attempts.
“For the foregoing reasons, Mr. Trump’s motion for a stay pending appeal (Dkt 185) is denied. This Court certifies that the appeal itself is frivolous,” Kaplan wrote.
The defamation case is currently set for trial in January 2024. This is Carroll’s second lawsuit against Trump.
In May, a jury awarded Carroll $5 million in damages in her first lawsuit after concluding that Trump sexually abused her in 1996 at a midtown Manhattan Bergdorf Goodman store and then defamed her last fall with comments he made about her and her claims. While the jury concluded that Trump was liable for sexually abusing Carroll, it ruled in Trump’s favor regarding her rape claim.
Trump has claimed as recently as July that he does not know Carroll and did not rape her. He went on to blast the Justice Department for not coming to his defense.
“The DOJ will not defend me in the E. Jean Carroll civil case, which is all part of the political Witch Hunt, lawyered up by a political operative who I just beat in another case, financed by a big political funder, and ‘judged’ by a Clinton appointee who truly hates ‘TRUMP.’ The statements that I made about Carroll are all true. I didn’t Rape her (I won that at trial) and other than for this case, I have NO IDEA WHO SHE IS, WHAT SHE LOOKS LIKE, OR ANYTHING ABOUT HER,” Trump wrote on social media July 12.
The case has dragged on for over three years as Trump has — so far unsuccessfully — made various arguments for why there can be no dispute over the facts, and that he is entitled to win as a matter of law. In December 2022, Trump for the first time argued that he has absolute presidential immunity for his 2019 statements about Carroll. However, the court rejected that argument, finding that the former president had waived his immunity defense by failing to raise it earlier in the case.
Trump appealed that decision and sought to delay the case pending resolution of his appeal, but Kaplan said his immunity defense was likely to fail on its merits and denied Trump’s request.
Fox News’ Danielle Wallace and Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.
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