Court Tells Trump He's 3 Years Too Late To Claim Immunity In E. Jean Carroll Case

An appeals court ruled Trump "waived this defense" of presidential immunity by waiting so long.
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An appeals court told Donald Trump that he cannot assert presidential immunity in a defamation lawsuit brought by the writer E. Jean Carroll, saying Wednesday that he’d waited three years too long to invoke that as a defense.

The decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan upheld a federal judge’s same ruling in June.

“A 3-year-delay is more than enough, under our precedents, to qualify as ‘undue,’” the three-judge panel ruled Wednesday.

“We hold that presidential immunity is waivable and that Defendant waived this defense,” the ruling continued.

Carroll first filed her defamation suit against the former president in November 2019, prompting a response from Trump the following January. But it wasn’t until January of this year that he tried to assert the presidential immunity defense.

Trump attorney Alina Habba vowed to seek an opinion from a higher court on the matter.

“The Second Circuit’s ruling is fundamentally flawed and we will seek immediate review from the Supreme Court,” she said in a statement.

The trial scheduled to start next month concerns a “series of false and defamatory statements” Trump made about Carroll while president, according to her lawsuit, including him denying that he sexually assaulted her in the mid-1990s, claiming he’d never met her and implying that she fabricated the attack to promote her book.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan found Trump liable for defaming Carroll in September. January’s trial will only concern the amount of damages Trump owes Carroll.

This case is separate from a sexual assault and defamation case Carroll won against Trump earlier this year, with a jury finding Trump guilty of sexually assaulting Carroll in a department store dressing room and ordering him to pay her $5 million in damages.

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