NYC judge unseals Trump’s deposition in E. Jean Carroll’s rape and sexual assault lawsuit

NEW YORK — A New York City judge on Friday unsealed portions of former President Donald Trump’s deposition in E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit.

Manhattan Federal Court Judge Lewis Kaplan categorically rejected Trump’s arguments for keeping the October 2022 deposition under seal, finding them “entirely baseless.”

At the heart of Carroll’s two lawsuits against Trump are allegations he raped her inside Bergdorf Goodman in Manhattan in the mid-1990s. Trump denies the incident.

In the newly unsealed papers, the ex-president alternately rails against the former advice columnist for Elle, her lawyer Roberta Kaplan, President Joe Biden, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and more. He appeared for the sit-down via remote from Mar-a-Lago.

The former president doubled down on his comments at the heart of the libel claims — calling Carroll a “wack job,” “nut job,” and “sick, mentally sick” — and threatened to sue her lawyer.

Carroll sued Trump for defamation in 2019 after he publicly called her a “liar” in response to rape allegations included in her memoir. In denying the assault, the then-president said Carroll was “not my type.”

“When I say she’s not my type, I say she is not a woman I would ever be attracted to. There is no reason for me to be attracted to her,” Trump testified in his deposition, adding he knew the statement was “politically incorrect.”

The underlying lawsuit became log-jammed when Trump argued his comments about Carroll were protected because he made them while he was in the White House.

President Biden’s Justice Department has continued to defend that argument, saying federal employees should be protected from lawsuits. The matter is currently in the hands of the Washington D.C. Court of Appeals.

Carroll filed a second lawsuit in November after New York passed the Adult Survivors Act. The legislation gives victims of sexual assault one year to sue their alleged assailants regardless of how long ago the incident occurred.

When she announced the second suit, Trump lashed out on his social media platform Truth Social, again calling Carroll a liar. The post formed the basis for Carroll’s new defamation claim.

“Great statement, yeah. True. True,” Trump described the social media post in his October deposition.

“Did you talk to anyone before you wrote it? Did you talk to anyone about what to say in the statement?” Kaplan asked.

“No. I didn’t need to,” Trump responded. “I’m not Joe Biden.”

At one point in the questioning, Kaplan asked Trump about “Peekaboo James,” a phrase he uses to refer to state Attorney General Letitia James, who is suing him for $250 million.

In response, Trump took a swipe at Carroll for her lawyer’s Cuomo ties. Kaplan faced scrutiny in August 2021 over reports she advised the ousted governor about discrediting his sexual misconduct accusers.

“You should ask Andrew,” Trump told Kaplan. “If you want a definition, ask Andrew about her. I think you’ve been through a lot.”

On top of denying the rape accusations, Trump said he “can’t think of any complaints” when asked if he’s ever kissed a woman without her consent. Kaplan also asked the former president whether he’d ever touched a woman sexually without her consent.

“Well, I will tell you no, but you may have some people like your client that lie,” he replied.

The transcript cuts off when Carroll’s lawyer asks Trump if he knew the meaning of sexual harassment.

“Yeah, pretty much,” Trump said.

The release of the deposition came hours after Judge Kaplan rejected a request from Trump to dismiss Carroll’s second lawsuit, which includes a rape claim.

The jurist described Trump’s ask as “absurd,” and upheld the legality of the Adult Survivors Act. Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba said she would appeal.

The case is set to go to trial in April.