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Clinton Appointee Denies Trump’s Request to Delay E. Jean Carroll Trial

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


A federal judge in New York rejected former President Donald Trump’s appeal for a trial postponement in the defamation and battery lawsuit filed by former Elle columnist E. Jean Carroll on Monday.

Trump requested a trial postponement in the defamation and battery case filed by Carroll, citing the intense media coverage of his indictment in Manhattan last month and the need for a “cooling off” period.

He sought a one-month delay of the trial, which was set to start on April 25, but U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, a senior judge in the Southern District of New York who was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1994, denied the request, stating, “There is no justification for an adjournment. This case is entirely unrelated to the state prosecution.”

“Developments in at least one of these matters, as well as actions and statements by Mr. Trump in relation to any, may well give rise to intense publicity that, in some respects, Mr. Trump might claim to be prejudicial in this case,” Kaplan noted. “Mr. Trump’s suggestion that a one-month trial postponement, in this case, would ensure the absence of any such developments in the period immediately preceding jury selection is not realistic.”

Last week it was revealed that LinkedIn founder and Democratic mega-donor Reid Hoffman was secretly funding Carroll’s lawsuit against Trump.

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According to court records filed on Thursday, Reid Hoffman, the billionaire who co-founded LinkedIn and is now a major donor to the Democratic Party, has been secretly funding E. Jean Carroll’s rape case, the Daily Beast reported.

The latest revelations were disclosed during a heated correspondence between lawyers representing Carroll and Trump, who are currently fighting over whether to postpone the trial scheduled to begin in two weeks.

It is uncertain if Hoffman’s financial support will have any bearing on the outcome of the case, but the revelation of the previously undisclosed funding is likely to fuel Trump’s ongoing claims that wealthy Democrats are working behind the scenes to undermine him, the outlet noted further.

Hoffman is a prominent Silicon Valley entrepreneur who established LinkedIn, the professional social network. He is also recognized as a significant Democratic donor who has made it his objective to weaken Trump’s hold over the Republican Party. According to Vox, Hoffman’s opposition to Trump’s policies has even put a strain on his friendship with fellow Silicon Valley figure Peter Thiel, who has taken on the role of funding conservative causes and candidates.

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Carroll, a veteran magazine columnist, alleges that Trump raped her in the dressing room of a high-end Manhattan department store during the 1990s. She chronicled her experience in a tell-all memoir, prompting Trump to call her a liar from the White House, The Daily Beast reported further. Carroll sued him for defamation, but the case has remained stuck in legal limbo for almost four years.

With the passage of a new rape survivor law in New York, which extended the statute of limitations on private civil lawsuits, Carroll filed a new lawsuit seeking a trial that would potentially award her monetary compensation but, more importantly, label the powerful real estate magnate seeking a second presidential term as a rapist.

“Trump lawyers Alina Habba and Joe Tacopina—who have already tried to delay the trial—are seizing on the strange nature of this 11th-hour revelation to ask a federal judge to push back the trial or even open up another round of investigation before it starts,” the outlet reported.

Trump’s legal team documented in a letter on Thursday that Carroll had claimed during her deposition on Oct. 14 that she was not receiving financial support from anyone else, only to have her lawyers inform them on Monday that she had a mystery backer.

Trump’s lawyers said that Carroll’s team was reluctant to disclose the identity of the donor until several phone calls later in the week when they revealed that it was Hoffman and a nonprofit called the American Future Republic, The Daily Beast added.

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