Trump Appears for Impeachment in E. Jean Carroll Trial



CNN

Former President Donald Trump appeared for a recusal Wednesday as part of the libel suit brought by former magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll.

Last week, a federal judge cleared the way for Trump’s testimony, saying the former president had already taken steps to delay the case and that he “shouldn’t be able to run out the clock.”

“We are pleased that, on behalf of our client, E. Jean Carroll, we were able to take Donald Trump’s statement today. We are unable to comment further,” said a spokesperson for Kaplan Hecker & Fink , the law firm representing Carroll.

Attorneys for Trump did not respond to a request for comment.

It is not clear what Trump said during the deposition, which was taken at his Mar-a-Lago resort.

Carroll sued Trump in 2019 for defamation after he denied her claim that he raped her in a New York department store in the mid-1990s. She was scheduled to sit for her submission on Friday.

Legal efforts against Trump were recently raised when Carroll said she intended to sue him next month under a new New York state law that allows sexual assault victims to sue years after the attack. His testimony in the defamation case may be used in a future trial.

The libel case has been in legal limbo for over a year.

Trump and the Justice Department argued that Trump was a federal employee and his statements denying Carroll’s allegations were made in response to reporters’ questions while he was in the White House. They argued that the Justice Department should be substituted as a defendant, which, because the government cannot be sued for defamation, would end the lawsuit.

Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled against Trump and the DOJ. They appealed. Last month, a federal appeals court in New York ruled that Trump was a federal employee when he dismissed Carroll’s rape and sexual assault claim.

However, the federal appeals court asked the Court of Appeals in Washington DC to determine whether Trump was acting within the scope of his employment when he made the allegedly defamatory statements. If the D.C. court finds in Trump’s favor, the Justice Department will likely be substituted as a defendant and the case dismissed. The DC Court of Appeals has yet to take up the case, and it’s unclear if or when they will.

This year, Trump was ordered by a New York state judge to take the position of New York’s attorney general. Trump refused to answer questions, citing his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Last month, the New York attorney general’s office filed a $250 million lawsuit against Trump, his eldest children and the Trump Organization for allegedly defrauding lenders and insurance companies through false accounting. Trump has denied any wrongdoing and said the lawsuit was politically motivated.

In civil cases, if someone refuses to answer questions, the jury is allowed to use an adverse inference against the person when determining their potential liability.

Last year, Trump sat for a deposition in a civil lawsuit filed by protesters who claimed they were injured outside Trump Tower during his first presidential campaign. He is also expected to testify in another civil trial regarding a marketing campaign before the end of the month.

This story has been updated with additional details.

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