Donald Trump Loses Motion to Delay E. Jean Carroll Defamation Case

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The defamation trial will begin in January after an appeals court rejected Trump’s presidential immunity defense and a motion to stay that ruling

E. Jean Carroll’s defamation trial against Donald Trump will go ahead in January after an appeals court rejected the former president’s motion to stay a previous ruling denying his attempt to use presidential immunity as a defense.

Trump’s legal team filed the motion last week, seeking a 90-day stay to consider other appellate court options, or potentially take the case to the Supreme Court. That motion was denied Thursday by a three-judge panel on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

A lawyer for Trump did not immediately return Rolling Stone’s requests for comment. A lawyer for Carroll declined to comment.

In its initial rejection of Trump’s presidential immunity claims, the three-judge panel ruled that that the former president had waited too long to make the argument. Trump is simultaneously trying to use presidential immunity as a defense in a separate criminal case over his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election; a ruling on that matter is still pending. 

As for the Carroll case, she first accused Trump of sexual assault and rape in 2019. The incident allegedly took place nearly 30 years ago. In response, Trump has, at various points, not only denied the allegations but allegedly disparaged Carroll, leading to two separate civil proceedings. 


In May, one of those suits was decided in Carroll’s favor. A jury found Trump liable for battery and defamation, and awarded her $5 million in damages. The defamation claims stemmed from an Oct. 2022 Truth Social post, in which Trump called Carroll’s claims a “complete con job,” “a hoax,” and “a lie.” (The jury did not find Trump liable for Carroll’s rape allegations.)

That judgement served as the basis for Judge Lewis Kaplan’s decision to find Trump liable for defamation in September. The ruling pertained to statements Trump made about Carroll in 2019, which Kaplan said were “substantially the same” to the 2022 remarks and made with “actual malice.” The January trial — which Trump and his team have now failed to delay — will be to determine how much Trump should pay in damages.  

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