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Trump defamation lawsuit by E. Jean Carroll set to resume discovery

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E. Jean Carroll visits ‘Tell Me Every little thing’ with John Fugelsang within the SiriusXM Studios on July 11, 2019 in Latest York.

Noam Galai | Getty Images

Lawyers for ex-President Donald Trump and the author E. Jean Carroll have agreed to resume a process for exchanging evidence and taking witness testimony under oath for her lawsuit accusing Trump of defaming her after she said he raped her within the Nineties, a court filing revealed.

The agreement sets the stage for the possible testing of a DNA sample from Trump. Carroll’s lawyers want to check his DNA to a stain containing male DNA that’s on a dress that she has said she saved from the day of the alleged attack.

Trump denies raping Carrol. There was no court ruling to date on whether he could have to offer a DNA sample.

But Thursday’s court filing, which says either side have agreed to resume the so-called discovery process and complete it by November, reopens the door for Carroll’s lawyers to ask Manhattan federal district court Judge Lewis Kaplan to order such a sample if Trump’s lawyers oppose their request.

The filing by Carroll’s lawyer lays out a proposed schedule of deadlines for the parties to make requests of one another for evidence within the case, and to finish the exchange of such evidence.

It also says either side have agreed to conduct depositions of witnesses between Aug. 3 and Oct. 19.

Judge Kaplan signed an order approving the proposed schedule later Thursday.

Carroll’s lawyer Roberta Kaplan said in February that she wouldn’t seek to take a deposition from Trump before a possible trial, so as to avoid further delay within the case.

Roberta Kaplan, who shouldn’t be related to the case’s judge, said on the time that she is “perfectly glad” to query Trump on the witness stand at trial.

It shouldn’t be clear if Trump’s lawyer will seek to depose Carroll before trial.

“We’re pleased that the parties have committed that fact discovery will resume on this case and be accomplished by November 16, 2022,” Roberta Kaplan said in a press release.

Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba declined to comment on the filing.

The filing comes after Judge Kaplan in March denied Trump permission to countersue and seek financial damages from Carroll. In a scathing decision, he said there was good reason to consider Trump’s request was a delaying tactic to further stall the case.

Carroll in a 2019 Latest York magazine article wrote that Trump raped her in a dressing room of Bergdorf Goodman after a likelihood encounter in the shop within the mid-Nineties.

Trump then accused Carroll of lying. He said she was motivated by money and a political agenda to invent the claim of rape.

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Carroll then sued Trump for defamation.

The Justice Department has sought to switch Trump as a defendant within the case, based on the indisputable fact that he was president and never a non-public citizen on the time he made the allegedly defamatory statements about Carroll.

Judge Kaplan in October 2020 denied that effort, saying, “The President of the US shouldn’t be an worker of the Government inside the meaning of the relevant statutes.”

“Even when he were such an worker, President Trump’s allegedly defamatory statements concerning Ms. Carroll wouldn’t have been inside the scope of his employment,” Kaplan said on the time in a written ruling.

The Justice Department appealed Kaplan’s ruling to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, which has yet to rule on the difficulty.

If the Justice Department wins on appeal, it might effectively end Carroll’s suit, because the department then could invoke the U.S. government’s protection from lawsuits on the grounds of sovereign immunity.

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