A lawyer says she won’t seek to impeach ex-President Donald Trump in a defamation lawsuit brought by a woman who accused him of rape because she wants to speed up the trial.
Attorney Roberta Kaplan first made the revelation in Manhattan federal court during a preliminary hearing before explaining the decision to reporters outside court as her client, E. Jean Carroll, stood by his side.
A deposition, Kaplan said, “would inevitably cause undue delay.”
“We want the case to move forward,” she said.
Lawyer Alina Habba, who represented Trump at the hearing, said in court she had never heard that Carroll’s lawyers did not want a deposition, a procedure in which lawyers in civil cases question likely witnesses under oath before the trial.
“It’s surprising,” Habba said.
As for a DNA sample, Habba said, “None were requested.”
Kaplan, however, said the DNA sample was requested after the case was first filed in state court, and the request still exists after it was transferred to federal court.
She said she would be “more than perfectly happy” to wait to question Trump at trial, which she said could happen in as little as six months, after some short-term legal hurdles are lifted.
The Associated Press does not generally identify people alleging sexual assault, but Carroll consented to being named in the media.
She told reporters outside court that she looked forward to the trial on behalf of all the women “who have been grabbed and groped, assaulted and raped by men in power and silenced”.
“And we are seeking justice, at least in this case, against a powerful man,” she said.
Carroll said she would “never, ever settle down”.
” It’s a matter of principle. It’s about a powerful man who assaults and rapes a woman and then gets away with it. It’s not right,” she said.
Carroll, in a June 2019 book, said Trump raped her in the mid-1990s at an upscale Manhattan department store.
The excerpt from the book prompted Trump to deny the allegations and question Carroll’s credibility and motives in a statement from his White House press office, comments in an Oval Office interview and statements to the media as he boarded a helicopter for Camp David.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to ultimately rule on Trump’s request that the United States take his place as a defendant in the lawsuit. The US Department of Justice has claimed that Trump cannot be held personally responsible for the “rude and disrespectful” remarks he made about Carroll because his remarks were made while in office as president.
Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, who presided over Tuesday’s hearing, ruled last October that Trump could not use a law protecting federal employees from being sued individually for things they do as part of their job. use.
He also denied a request by Trump’s attorneys to delay progress in the trial, including depositions, until the 2nd Circuit decides whether Trump can be replaced as a defendant.
On Tuesday, the judge appeared to have little patience for arguments from Trump’s lawyers saying Trump should be able to countersue Carroll under a law sometimes used to challenge defamation lawsuits that unfairly make claims.
“I wonder if you have the right to do what you want to do,” he said, noting that attorneys were seeking to countersuit more than a year after the case was filed.