Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers have requested a delay in his defamation and battery trial that was brought by E. Jean Carroll.
One of Trump’s attorneys, Joe Tacopina, asked the judge in the case to delay that trial for a month as part of a “cooling off” period after his client was indicted for 34 felony counts in Manhattan over falsifying business records.
Tacopina is hoping that the trial will be pushed back until late May instead of its current date, which is scheduled for April 25. Carroll is a former columnist for a magazine who has accused Trump of battery and defamation.
In making his argument for why the case should be delayed, Tacopina said potential jurors would have Trump’s criminal charges “top of mind” as they’re called to serve, thanks to the overwhelming media attention that’s being brought to those criminal charges. As a result, Trump’s lawyer says it could easily taint the pool of jurors.
In the letter he sent to Judge Lewis Kaplan, Tacopina wrote:
“To be sure, President Trump is a persistent subject of media coverage. But the present situation is unique because, as stated above, the recent coverage pertains to alleged sexual misconduct, the same issue at the heart of this litigation.”
Roberta Kaplan, who is serving as Carroll’s attorney in the case, wrote a letter to the judge in response to oppose Trump’s request for a delay. The attorney called that request “meritless,” adding that “there is every reason to believe that the Court can empanel a fair jury in this case” because of the sheer size as well as diversity of the New York City population, as well as that from surrounding counties.
As Kaplan’s letter reads:
“Waiting an additional four weeks will do nothing to ‘cool’ the unavoidable press and security concerns that will attend this trial – concerns that Your Honor has taken substantial measures to address. And in all events, Trump is exceptionally ill-suited to complain about fairness when he has instigated (and sought to benefit from) so much of the very coverage about which he now complains.
“The fact that Trump is the subject of an unusually large number of criminal investigations cannot possibly mean that Carroll is barred from going forward in her unrelated civil action, which involves wholly different facts and claims.”
The core of this civil lawsuit that Carroll has brought against Trump is an accusation that, during the mid-1990s, the former president assaulted Carroll while she was in the dressing room of a department store.
In 2019, Carroll first filed a lawsuit against Trump for defamation, after he denied that any of it ever happened, saying that “she’s not my type.” He then alleged that Carroll brought forth her claim so that she could boost her book sales.
Carroll is sticking to her story, though, and is seeking to have the dispute settled by a civil court in New York.