U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan rejected a request by Trump’s lawyers that the planned testimony be delayed. The deposition is now scheduled for Oct. 19.
The decision came in a lawsuit brought by E. Jean Carroll, a longtime advice columnist for Elle magazine, who says Trump raped her in an upscale Manhattan department store’s dressing room. Trump has denied it. Carroll is scheduled to be deposed Friday.
A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump’s legal team has tried various legal tactics to delay the lawsuit and prevent him from being questioned by Carroll’s attorneys, but Kaplan wrote that it was time to move forward.
“The defendant should not be permitted to run the clock out on plaintiff’s attempt to gain a remedy for what allegedly was a serious wrong,” he wrote.
Carroll’s lawsuit claims that Trump damaged her reputation in 2019 when he denied raping her. Trump’s legal team has been trying to squash the suit by arguing that the Republican was just doing his job as president when he denied the allegations.
That’s a key question because if Trump was acting within the scope of his duties as a federal employee, the U.S. government would become the defendant in the case.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in a split decision last month that Trump was a federal employee when he commented on Carroll’s claims. But asked another court in Washington to decide whether Trump’s public statements occurred during the scope of his employment.
Kaplan said Trump has repeatedly tried to delay the collection of evidence in the lawsuit.
“Given his conduct so far in this case, Mr. Trump’s position regarding the burdens of discovery is inexcusable,” he wrote. “As this Court previously has observed, Mr. Trump has litigated this case since it began in 2019 with the effect and probably the purpose of delaying it.”