The trial for an alleged rape of a columnist, which was supposed to begin this month, seems to be delayed by the former president Donald Trump.
The trial, which is set to start on April 25, centers on allegations that Trump sexually attacked columnist E Jean Carroll in a changing room at a Manhattan department shop in 1996.
However, Carroll’s lawyers made it evident that a prominent donor to the Democratic Party helped finance her lawsuit, thus Trump’s attorney Alina Habba is asking for a postponement.
The revelation that Carroll received money from American Future Republic, a social welfare organization funded by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, puts the lawsuit’s motives and credibility into question, Habba wrote in a letter on Thursday.
Habba said the disclosure feeds into Trump’s defense calling Carroll’s accusations a ‘hoax’ and ‘con job’. Trump had also questioned if the Democratic Party was funding the suit and if Carroll brought it with a political agenda.
Carroll’s lawyer Roberta Kaplan in a letter to the court on Thursday asked the judge to deny Trump’s request for a trial delay.
‘One thing is clear – Trump will stop at nothing to avoid having a jury hear Carroll’s claims,’ wrote Kaplan.
Earlier this week, Trump’s lawyer Joe Tacopina asked for a month delay in the trial, citing some negative publicity around the ex-president’s arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court on April 4. Trump plead not guilty to 34 felony counts around Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation into his alleged role in a hush payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.
‘Holding the trial of this case a mere three weeks after these historic events will guarantee that many, if not most, prospective jurors will have the criminal allegations top of mind when judging President Trump’s defense against Ms Carroll’s allegations,’ wrote Tacopina.
‘President Trump can only receive a fair trial in a calmer media environment than the one created by the New York County district attorney.’
Also on Thursday, the Washington, DC, Court of Appeals refused to decide if Trump can be shielded from the first of two defamation suits brought by Carroll.
The developments unfolded the same day that Trump sat for his second deposition in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ $250million civil lawsuit alleging fraud by him, his three eldest children and the Trump Organization.