Judge Rejects Trump’s Bid to Postpone Defamation Trial as Frivolous Appeal

A Federal Judge in New York has denied former President Donald Trump’s bid to postpone his defamation trial, labeling his appeal as frivolous. The judge, Lewis A. Kaplan, expressed his growing impatience with what he called Trump’s repetitive attempts to delay the lawsuit against him. The trial is set for January and centers on a 2019 civil claim by a New York columnist who alleges Trump raped her in a Manhattan department store in 1996.

Judge Kaplan’s ruling increases the likelihood that the defamation trial will proceed as scheduled on January 15. This timing aligns with the start of the primary season, a crucial time in Trump’s quest for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. However, Trump is simultaneously facing multiple criminal indictments on separate charges, including his alleged involvement in attempts to overturn the 2020 election results, a case related to classified documents in Florida, and charges of arranging a payoff to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

In a prior trial, Trump was found to have defamed E. Jean Carroll, a writer who accused him of sexual abuse. The jury did not establish rape, but they awarded Carroll $5 million in damages. Presently, Carroll’s legal team is seeking an additional $10 million in compensatory damages and punitive damages for Trump’s post-verdict statements. The upcoming January trial will primarily focus on determining the damages, building on the prior jury verdict.

Judge Kaplan previously dismissed Trump’s assertion of immunity based on his presidential status during the contested 2019 remarks. Trump’s legal team sought a trial delay, contending a strong likelihood of appeal success. However, Judge Kaplan rejected these claims as unsubstantiated, branding Trump’s appeal as frivolous.

The ruling also comes in the context of Trump’s aspirations for the 2024 presidency. With the trial proceeding, Trump’s legal battles remain in the spotlight, affecting his political trajectory and campaign strategies. Despite the charges he’s facing, Trump adamantly maintains his innocence.

As of now, there has been no immediate response from Trump’s legal team regarding this ruling. The decision holds significant implications, setting the stage for a critical legal and political showdown as the trial date approaches.

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