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Trump may soon have to respond to sworn rape allegations




The author and journalist hopes that this day will come this year. His lawyers are seeking to file Trump in a libel lawsuit Carroll filed against the former president in November 2019 after he denied his accusation of raping her at a Manhattan department store in the mid-1990s. Trump said he never knew Carroll and accused her of lying to sell her new book, adding: It’s not my type. “

She plans to be there if Trump is impeached.

I live right now to walk into that room to sit across from him, “Carroll told Reuters in an interview. I think about it every day.”

Carroll, 77, a former columnist for Elle magazine, is seeking unspecified damages in her lawsuit and a retraction of Trump’s statements. This is one of two defamation cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct against Trump that may move faster now that he has stepped down as president. During their tenure, Trumps’ lawyers delayed the case in part on the grounds that the pressing duties of his office made it impossible to respond to civil lawsuits.

The only obstacle to pursuing the civil suit was that it was the president, ”said Jennifer Rodgers, former federal prosecutor and now adjunct professor of clinical law at New York University School of Law.

I think the judges will feel it is time to take action in these cases, ”said Roberta Kaplan, lawyer for Carrolls.

A lawyer for Trump and another representative for the former president did not respond to requests for comment.

Trump is facing a similar libel lawsuit against Summer Zervos, a former contestant of his reality show The Apprentice. In 2016, Zervos accused Trump of sexual misconduct, claiming that he kissed her against his will at a 2007 meeting in New York City and later groped her in a California hotel as the two got together. were meeting to discuss employment opportunities.

Trump denied the allegations and called Zervos a liar, prompting him to sue him for libel in 2017, seeking damages and a retraction. Trump tried unsuccessfully to have the case dropped, arguing that as president he was immune from prosecution in state courts. His lawyers have appealed to the New York Court of Appeals, which is still reviewing the case. Zervos filed a motion in early February asking the court to take over the case now that Trump is no longer president.

Zervos and Carroll are among more than two dozen women who have publicly accused Trump of sexual misconduct that they say occurred in the years before he took office. Other accusers include a former model who claims Trump sexually assaulted her during the 1997 US Open tennis tournament; a former Miss Universe contestant who said Trump groped her in 2006; and a reporter who alleges Trump forcibly kissed her without her consent in 2005 at his Mar-a-Lago resort.

Trump denied the allegations and called them politically motivated.

In September, after several unsuccessful attempts by Trump’s lawyers to have the Carrolls case dismissed or delayed, officials in the US Department of Justice under his administration took the unusual step of calling for the government to be replaced by Trump as the defendant. in the case. Lawyers for the Department of Justice have argued that Trump, like any typical government employee, is entitled under federal law to immunity from civil suit in the course of his job. They argued that he was acting in his capacity as president when he said Carroll was lying.

Legal experts said it was unprecedented for the Justice Department to defend a president for conduct before he took office. When Manhattan District Federal Court Judge Lewis Kaplan rejected this argument, the Department of Justice appealed. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has yet to rule on this matter.

It remains to be seen whether Justice Department officials under President Joe Biden, who took office last month, will continue to defend the case on Trump’s behalf. The White House and the Justice Department declined to comment.

If the appeals court upholds Justice Kaplans ‘ruling, it would likely pave the way for Trump’s attorney to be impeached by Carrolls’ lawyers.

Unidentified male DNA

Lawyers for Carrolls are also looking for a DNA sample from Trump. Carroll says she still has the dress she wore when Trump allegedly attacked her.

I hung it in my closet, ”she says.

Carroll said she randomly crossed paths with Trump in the Bergdorf Goodmans store in the mid-1990s. Carroll, who hosted a TV show at the time, said Trump recognized her. The two chatted, she said. Trump asked her to choose a gift for an unidentified woman, and they eventually ended up in the lingerie department. After asking her to try on a bodysuit, Trump closed a locker room door, pin her against a wall, opened her pants and sexually assaulted her, according to the complaint.

Carroll said she told two friends about the alleged attack shortly after it happened, but did not report Trump to police, fearing retaliation from the man. rich and well connected business. Decades later, Carroll went public with his story in a June 2019 New York magazine article, adapted from a new book, What Do We Need Men For? A modest proposition. “

She said she was inspired to recount the incident by the #MeToo movement, which encouraged women to share their experiences of sexual assault and harassment. In the photos taken for this story, Kaplan, at the request of the magazine’s cinematographer, was wearing the same black Donna Karan dress she said she wore the day Trump allegedly assaulted her.

When Carroll filed his complaint later in 2019, his lawyer, Kaplan, asked a guard to escort him to retrieve the dress from his closet for forensic testing. Analysis concluded that no semen was found on the dress, but DNA from an unidentified man was detected on the shoulder and sleeves, according to the January 8, 2020 lab report, which has been reviewed by Reuters.

If the dress contains traces of Trump’s DNA, that wouldn’t prove his guilt. But a match could be used as evidence that he had contact with the dress and to help refute his claims that he never met Carroll, according to two forensic experts not involved in the case.

How her DNA ended up on that robe would be the argument, ”said Monte Miller, a biochemist who runs a DNA analysis consultancy and previously worked at the Texas Department of Public Safetys State Crime Laboratory. It’s up to the lawyers, the courts, and everyone. argue as to why it is there and how it got there. “

Carroll said she was convinced the DNA in the dress belonged to Trump and wanted her day in court. She said she now sleeps with a gun next to her bed because she has received death threats since publicly accusing Trump.

This libel suit is not about me, “said Carroll, who regularly meets other women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct. These are all women who cannot speak.”

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