Trump rape accuser E. Jean Carroll’s defamation case moves one step closer to trial after judge rejects attempts by the DOJ to step in and replace the president as the defendant
- US District Judge Lewis Kaplan issued an order on Wednesday telling Carroll and Trump’s lawyers to agree on a schedule for the trial to progress
- If they don’t come to an agreement privately, both parties will have to appear before the judge at a telephone conference on December 11
- ‘We look forward to finally moving ahead with discovery in the case,’ Carroll’s attorney Roberta Kaplan said in a statement to DailyMail.com
- The development comes two weeks after the judge rejected the DOJ’s request to substitute itself for Trump as the defendant in the suit
- Carroll accused Trump of raping her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in New York City in the mid-90s
- Her suit claims Trump defamed her when he denied her allegation last year
E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump is moving forward despite the Justice Department’s efforts to intervene after a federal judge in New York scheduled a pretrial conference for next month.
US District Judge Lewis Kaplan issued an order on Wednesday telling Carroll and Trump’s lawyers to agree on a timeline for the trial to progress.
If they don’t come to an agreement privately and submit it to the court, both parties will have to appear before the judge at a telephone conference on December 11.
Carroll’s attorney Roberta Kaplan, who has no relation to the judge, shared her satisfaction with the latest court order on Thursday.
‘We look forward to finally moving ahead with discovery in the case, which has been on hold since Trump filed his motion for a stay last February, and look forward to the initial conference in E Jean Carroll’s case on Dec. 11, if the parties cannot agree on a schedule,’ the attorney said in a statement to DailyMail.com.
The development comes two weeks after he rejected the DOJ’s request to substitute itself for Trump as the defendant in the suit.
E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump is moving forward despite the Justice Department’s efforts to intervene after a federal judge in New York scheduled a pretrial conference for next month on Wednesday
Carroll alleges that the president defamed her in 2019 when he came out to deny her allegation that he sexually assaulted her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in New York City in 1996.
Trump at the time asserted that Carroll was lying to advance a secret political conspiracy and sell books, and that she had falsely accused other men of rape. He also claimed he had never met Carroll – even though they’d been photographed together – and said: ‘She’s not my type.’
The DOJ asked to substitute the US as the defendant on the grounds that Trump was acting in an official capacity when he made the comments about Carroll, because her claims related to his fitness for office.
If the DOJ’s request had been granted, it would have put taxpayers on the hook for any potential payout in a lawsuit seeking damages and a retraction of the statements.
Carroll’s lawyers fought back by insisting that Trump cannot use his office as a shield from the suit.
‘There is not a single person in the United States – not the President and not anyone else – whose job description includes slandering women who they sexually assaulted,’ the attorneys wrote in a September filing.
Judge Kaplan ultimately sided with the plaintiff, ruling that a law protecting federal employees from being sued individually for things they do within the scope of their employment didn’t apply to a president.
But even if it did, the judge said, Trump’s public denials of the rape allegation would have come outside the scope of his employment.
Carroll praised the decision in a statement to DailyMail.com, saying: ‘When I spoke out about what Donald Trump did to me in a department store dressing room, I was speaking out against an individual. When Donald Trump called me a liar and denied that he had ever met me, he was not speaking on behalf of the United States.’
‘I am happy that Judge Kaplan recognized these basic truths. As the Judge recognized today, the question whether President Trump raped me twenty years ago in a department store is at “the heart” of this lawsuit. We can finally return to answering that question, and getting the truth out,’ Carroll added.
Trump’s legal team did not immediately return DailyMail.com’s request for comment about Judge Kaplan’s order on Thursday.
Carroll (pictured outside court last month) alleges that the president defamed her in 2019 when he came out to deny her allegation that he sexually assaulted her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in New York City in 1996
Carroll, who was a longtime Elle magazine advice columnist until being fired last December amid her legal battle with Trump, first aired her rape allegation in her book What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal in July 2019.
She wrote in the memoir, which had an excerpt featured in New York Magazine, that it happened after they ran into each other at the store and Trump recognized her from her column.
After asking her to help him pick out a gift for a woman, Carroll said he took her to the lingerie department and asked her to try on an item he chose.
Then, Carroll said Trump shoved her against a wall, unzipped his pants and forcibly penetrated her in an attack she claims lasted three minutes.
Trump said Carroll was ‘totally lying’ to sell a memoir and that he’d never met her, though a 1987 photo showed them and their then-spouses at a social event. He said it just captured a moment when he was standing in a line.
‘She is trying to sell a new book – that should indicate her motivation,’ he said in one of various statements on the matter, adding that the book ‘should be sold in the fiction section’.
Carroll detailed her allegations against Trump in New York magazine, appearing on the cover (pictured) in the very same coat dress that she claims she was wearing on the day Trump allegedly assaulted her
Carroll said that she remained silent during the 2016 presidential campaign in part because her mother, a respected Republican official in Indiana, was dying at the time and she didn’t want to add to her pain.
She said the emergence of the #MeToo movement in late 2017 prompted her to go public with her own story as she advised other women in her advice column to be brave and to seek justice when they asked her how to respond to sexual assault and abuse.
Carroll’s suit seeks damages and a retraction of Trump’s statements, saying they hurt her career and reputation.
Trump’s legal team has repeatedly tried – and failed – to have the suit dismissed. Attorney General Bill Barr intervened in the case last month by having the DOJ seek the substitution.
Carroll’s lawyers said the DOJ move was part of a pattern of maneuvers designed to delay progression of the case, including Carroll’s effort to get a DNA sample from Trump to see if it matches male genetic material on a dress she says she wore the day of the alleged attack.
A lab report taken on the black wool coat-styled dress found DNA on the sleeves mixed with at least four people, including one man.
Carroll’s lawyers accused the DOJ of attempting to delay progression of the case, including Carroll’s effort to get a DNA sample from Trump to see if it matches male genetic material on a dress she says she wore the day of the alleged attack (pictured)
Trump claimed that he had never met Carroll, but the advice columnist and author submitted photographic evidence that they had in the lawsuit. The photo above shows Trump and first wife Ivana (left and right) with Carroll and her then-husband John Johnson (center)