(NEW YORK) — A federal judge on Monday indefinitely delayed the defamation lawsuit writer E. Jean Carroll brought against former President Donald Trump.
Carroll, a former Elle magazine columnist, claimed Trump defamed her when he denied her allegation that he raped her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in the 1990s.
The trial had been set to begin on April 10. Attorneys for Carroll and Trump declined to comment.
Judge Lewis Kaplan adjourned the case without setting a new date while he awaits a decision from a different court that could affect whether the trial goes forward.
The Washington, D.C., Court of Appeals, which governs the conduct of federal employees, is deciding whether Trump was acting in his official capacity as president when he spoke out against Carroll. If so, the Justice Department would substitute for Trump as the defendant and the case would be over, as the federal government cannot be sued for defamation.
Last year Carroll filed a second defamation lawsuit against Trump that also alleged battery. In his ruling, Judge Kaplan declined to merge the cases for the purposes of trial.
In a criminal case, Trump could decline to testify in his defense. In a civil case, he could be called to testify by the plaintiff. Carroll’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan, has not said whether she would.
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