Trump can't stop defamation lawsuit by E. Jean Carroll, who accused him of rape, judge says

Marilyn Nieves/iStock

Marilyn Nieves/iStockBy AARON KATERSKY, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- President Donald Trump cannot delay or stop a defamation lawsuit by a former advice columnist who has accused him of rape, a judge in New York has ruled.

The judge, Verna Saunders, denied Trump's request to stay the defamation lawsuit brought by E. Jean Carroll.

Saunders cited the recent Supreme Court decision that allowed Manhattan DA Cy Vance to proceed with a subpoena for Trump's tax returns, a ruling that rejected the president's claim of absolute immunity from any aspect of criminal procedure while in office.

"This court construes the holding in Vance applicable to all state court proceedings in which a sitting President is involved, including those involving his or her unofficial/personal conduct," Saunders wrote.

The White House declined to comment on this latest update.

Carroll, who served as an advice columnist at Elle magazine for over 20 years, has accused Trump of raping her in the 1990s. He has denied ever meeting her.

She sued him for defamation, arguing he damaged her reputation and career – she lost her job at Elle – by denying her story and claiming she took money from political opponents to fabricate it.

"We are very gratified that Judge Saunders, recognizing the clear holding of the Supreme Court in Vance, has rejected President Trump's assertion of absolute immunity and has denied his motion to stay E. Jean Carroll's case," her attorney, Roberta Kaplan said.

"We are now eager to move forward with discovery so that we can prove that Donald Trump defamed E Jean Carroll when he lied about her in connection with her brave decision to tell the truth about the fact that Donald Trump had sexually assaulted her."

"See you in court," Carroll tweeted Friday, tagging the president.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

SHARE