Trump rape case judge is losing patience with defense requests to delay: 'Things keep happening in this case involving your client'
Trump's lawyers asked a judge to push his rape trial from mid-April to early June.
Judge Lewis A. Kaplan declined to delay the trial that long but pushed it by one week, to April 25.
The judge complained that the Carroll litigation has already been mired in delays.
US District Court Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, who is overseeing E. Jean Carroll's rape claim against former President Donald Trump, balked on Tuesday at the frequent holdups coming from Trump's defense team, as his new lawyer sought to delay the April trial date by six weeks.
Kaplan didn't agree to the six-week delay but did push the trial back one week to April 25, so that Trump's defense could deal with an issue regarding one of their expert witnesses.
During a hearing on Tuesday, Kaplan expressed concern that Trump's legal team has already caused delays in the two lawsuits brought against Trump by Carroll, who alleges he raped her decades ago and then defamed her after she spoke out.
"Things keep happening in this case involving your client. I would be a fool not to take that into account," Kaplan said Tuesday.
In October, Kaplan denied Trump's request to delay sitting for a deposition in Carroll's first lawsuit. And when Trump tried to countersue Carroll last year — two years after Carroll first sued Trump — Kaplan denied him, saying the counterclaim seemed to be a "bad faith" effort to delay the trial.
Carroll first sued Trump for defamation in November 2019, when he called her a liar for alleging he raped her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in the mid-1990s.
She filed a second lawsuit after New York passed a law late last year allowing for certain sexual-assault filings that would have otherwise missed the statute of limitations. That case includes a claim of battery over the alleged sexual assault and a second defamation claim.
Joe Tacopina was hired last month to represent Trump in the second case.
In court on Tuesday, Tacopina asked for a six-week delay in the rape lawsuit, saying a health issue with an expert witness had thrown the schedule off. He also said he had "a lot of work to do" to catch up on the case and wants to fly to London for the birth of his first grandchild, whose April due date is the same as the current trial date.
Tacopina said he could be ready for trial by the first week of June, "come hell or high water."
Roberta Kaplan, who is representing Carroll, argued against delaying the case.
Tacopina and Roberta Kaplan declined to comment outside of the courtroom Tuesday.
Tacopina attempted to reassure the judge that he was "not coming into this case to delay" and wants it to be tried "as quickly as possible."
"I'm not running away from that obligation," Tacopina said Tuesday. "I'll be ready whenever you want me to be ready."
Kaplan didn't rule on Tacopina's request at the hearing, but later that day he agreed to push the trial back by one week.
Carroll's first lawsuit has an April 10 trial date but is in limbo due to a pending appeals court decision.
Update: February 8, 2023 — This story has been updated to reflect that Judge Kaplan pushed the trial date by one week to start April 25.
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