Judge Says Trump Can’t Dismiss E. Jean Carroll’s Defamation Suit

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Panama City, Florida, U.S., May 8, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Update 8/9/2020: The Department of Justice asks a federal court for permission to take over Donald Trump’s defense in E. Jean Carrol’s defamation lawsuit.

The New York Supreme Court rejected President Donald Trump’s motion to dismiss the defamation suit filed by columnist E. Jean Carroll, after the president’s lawyers argued that the New York courts lacked jurisdiction to hear the case because Trump’s statements were made in Washington D.C.

See previous story: Trump Asks Judge to Dismiss E. Jean Carroll’s Defamation Lawsuit

In her ruling, Judge Doris Ling-Cohan said that the president failed to submit any evidence in support of his motion. “There is not even a tweet, much less an affidavit by defendant Trump in support of his motion,” Ling-Cohan wrote. The judge also denied his request that discovery be postponed until after his presidency. “There is no basis for a stay of discovery deadlines in this case,” she wrote. 

In June 2019, Carroll published a piece in New York Magazine accusing Trump of sexually assaulting her more than twenty years ago. After the president denied her allegations, he claimed that Carroll had lied in order to sell a book she’d written, and that he had never met her. Carroll then sued the president for defamation. 

The libel suit is one of two filed against the president for denying allegations of sexual assault. Trump has also tried to block a lawsuit filed by former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos from going forward on similar grounds. In March, a New York appeals court ruled that Zervos’ suit could move forward while Trump was still president.

Carroll’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, welcomed the news of the ruling. In a statement shared with The New York Times, Kaplan wrote that she and her client “look forward to moving ahead and proving that Donald Trump lied when he told the world that he did not rape [Carroll] and had not even met her.”

Complaint  New York Times