US Federal Judge Rejects Request to Delay Defamation Suit against Donald Trump

New York – US Federal Judge Lewis A. Kaplan rejected the request by lawyers for former President Donald Trump to delay the process of the defamation lawsuit by a woman who accused him of rape.

The judge denied the request the lawyers lodged in December to delay the lawsuit while an appeals court reviews whether the United States can be substituted as the defendant. It was unclear whether he would explain his reasoning in a subsequent filing. Jean Carroll brought the lawsuit to Trump declaring that he raped her in the mid-1990s in an upscale Manhattan department store.

According to her lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, in an email, “We very much look forward to oral argument in E Jean’s case before the Second Circuit. In the meantime, we are reviewing today’s order.”

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is slated to hear arguments in November on whether Trump can be replaced as the defendant in the lawsuit brought by columnist E. Jean Carroll.

The U.S. Justice Department has asserted that Trump cannot be held personally liable for “crude and disrespectful” remarks he made about Carroll because he was president at the time.

Lawyers for Trump and the Justice Department did not immediately respond to comments, however, former US Attorney General William Barr started the effort to replace Trump as the defendant while he is still in office.

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This intervention by Barr made last October received criticisms on the campaign trail by Trump’s Democratic opponent, Joe Biden. Biden said it was inappropriate for the Justice Department to attempt to intervene in a private legal battle over Trump’s personal conduct.

In June, the Justice Department under Biden, who won the election, stuck to the position it took while Barr led the department

“Elected public officials can – and often must – address allegations regarding personal wrongdoing that inspire doubt about their suitability for office,” the Justice Department said.

“Even reprehensible conduct can fall within the scope of employment,” the lawyers wrote, conceding that Trump used “crude and disrespectful” language in questioning Carroll’s credibility.

Kaplan ruled last October that Trump cannot use a law protecting federal employees from being sued individually for things they do within the scope of their employment.

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