Trump calls rape accuser’s DNA request ‘burdensome’
President Donald Trump is facing “numerous and burdensome” demands for evidence in a defamation lawsuit brought by an advice columnist who claims he raped her two decades ago, his lawyers said in a filing asking a judge to put the case on hold.
E. Jean Carroll, who went public with her claims in June, is seeking documents and a DNA sample from the president. Carroll said she believes Trump’s DNA may match a sample from the dress or shoes she wore the day of the alleged attack. She claims Trump defamed her by denying the incident.
Trump’s lawyers said in a filing Tuesday in Manhattan that Carroll’s case should be suspended until the state’s highest court decides whether the president can be sued while in office. The New York Court of Appeals will consider that issue in a similar suit by Summer Zervos, a former reality-TV contestant who claims Trump sexually assaulted her.
“DNA technology is so advanced that all we are seeking with respect to DNA at this point is a 3-second Q-tip swab from inside his mouth,” Carroll’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, said Wednesday in an emailed statement.
Carroll alleges Trump assaulted her in a dressing room at the Bergdorf Goodman luxury department store in Manhattan in 1995 or 1996 after she bumped into him while shopping. Zervos claims Trump assaulted her at a private dinner meeting more than a decade ago in Beverly Hills.
Trump has denied the allegations in both lawsuits.
“A stay would permit resolution of the president’s claim that he is immune from suit in state court while in office, and is also mandated because of the unique role of the president,” Trump’s filing said. “Courts are required to give deference to the president of the United States.”
The president’s request may be a longshot. A judge in November denied his request to put the Zervos case on hold until the appeals court rules. The court also previously denied Trump’s request to block discovery in the case.
“One big problem that Trump and his lawyers have is the indisputable fact that he has willingly participated in other lawsuits in his personal capacity since he was elected president and it would be fundamentally unfair to allow him to pick and choose which cases he wants to participate in,” Kaplan said.