Donald Trump faces the latest of his many legal problems as he goes to his civil trial in New York on April 25 accused of raping and defaming E Jean Carroll.
Mr. Trump is accused of sexually assaulting Ms. Carroll, an author and former magazine columnist, in the dressing room of a Bergdorf Goodman department store in Manhattan in 1995 or 1996.
Ms Carroll, 79, sued the former president in 2019 and again in 2022 for defamation and battery in separate civil suits, with the columnist seeking unspecified damages.
When should the process start?
Despite Trump’s efforts to delay proceedings, the first of two trials Carroll filed against him is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, April 25 in the U.S. District Court in Lower Manhattan.
It is the 2022 lawsuit that will go to trial first.
Mr Trump had called for a month-long “cooling off period” after his recent arraignment in the Stormy Daniels Secret Money Payments case, citing concerns that potential jurors would be swayed by the heightened media coverage.
However, Judge Lewis Kaplan denied that motion at a hearing last week.
The trial will begin with jury selection on April 25.
In a recent court filing, Trump’s attorneys indicated they expect the trial to take 10 to 12 days, while Ms. Carroll’s legal team believes it will take five to seven days.
Will it be televised?
No. The trial takes place in federal court, which typically prohibits all visual and audio recordings.
Will Donald Trump attend?
Possibly. Trump’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, told the court in a letter this week that the former president “wishes to appear” at the hearing but is concerned about “logistical and financial burdens” in New York City.
Trump’s presence at the unrelated felony money hearing forced the closure of several blocks of Lower Manhattan and of Franklin D Roosevelt Drive.
His presence would also require a tactical security plan, including large numbers of Secret Service agents, the lawyer said.
“As part of that plan, the courthouse floors would have to be closed, elevators shut down, court staff confined to their offices, and members of the public barred from the area,” Tacopina told the court.
He called for jurors to be briefed “his presence is warranted unless and until called by either party to testify.”
Judge Kaplan denied the request, saying, “Mr. Trump is free to participate, testify, or both. He is also free to do none of these things,”
Mr. Trump is listed as a potential defense witness.
Ms. Carroll’s attorneys indicated they would likely play a pre-recorded deposition from Trump, but that “there is no need for him to testify live.”
What are the charges?
In 2019, Ms. Carroll publicly alleged that Mr. Trump raped her in a locker room at the Bergdorf Goodman in the mid-1990s in her book What do we need men for? A modest proposition.
The long time Elle advice columnist and TV talk show host said the couple had a chance meeting at the 5th Avenue department store and asked for help choosing a gift for a woman.
She said he took her to the lingerie section of the store and asked her to try on a piece of clothing in the dressing room, where he allegedly pinned her against a wall and sexually assaulted her for three minutes.
He denied the allegations at a White House press conference, saying he “never met her” and that “she’s not my type.”
Following his denial, he filed a civil lawsuit for defamation in 2019.
Ms. Carroll then filed a separate civil lawsuit against Mr. Trump in November 2022 under a New York law that allows survivors of sexual assault to bring suits after the statute of limitations has expired for alleged crimes.
The new case accuses him of battery and also adds a new defamation charge based on recent posts in which he called her a “con artist.”