Donald Trump lost his bid to delay a defamation suit by a woman who claims he raped her in the 1990s, all but assuring that his accuser’s lawyers will depose him in less than two weeks.
A Manhattan federal judge on Wednesday ruled that Trump’s recent victory in a preliminary appeal wasn’t sufficient reason to put on hold the suit by New York columnist E. Jean Carroll. That means Trump’s Oct. 19 deposition will go forward as scheduled.
Carroll accused Trump in 2019 of raping her two decades earlier in a Manhattan department-store dressing room. She sued the then-president for defamation after he denied her claims in blunt terms. The deposition will cover all aspects of Carroll’s claims, including the alleged assault.
Last month, Trump won part of his appeal over whether Carroll’s suit is barred by a statute that broadly protects government workers from lawsuits related to their job duties. The federal appeals court in New York agreed with Trump that presidents qualify as employees under the law. Still, it asked the highest local court in Washington to determine whether his allegedly defamatory remarks fell within his official duties.
After that partial victory, Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba asked US District Judge Lewis Kaplan to put the case on hold, arguing the appeals court’s ruling on the first question was enough for Trump to be removed from the case and allow the Justice Department to take his place as a defendant.
But Kaplan held that the Washington court hasn’t yet agreed to hear the second question- it must be resolved before Trump can sidestep Carroll’s allegations.
Kaplan’s ruling means that other depositions in the case will proceed, including those of two women who claim Trump sexually assaulted them. Carroll believes the testimony will help prove Trump’s pattern of such behavior.