NEW YORK (AP) — On a recent call to the nation’s governors, President Donald Trump urged them to “ dominate ” streets full of protesters, adding that as a New Yorker he was especially appalled at unrest in his home town.
“I live in Manhattan,” he said.
That declaration is now getting attention from a different audience: lawyers for E. Jean Carroll, a writer suing Trump for denying her allegations that he raped her in a New York department store in the mid-1990s.
Carroll’s lawyers say Trump’s statement about where he lives blunts one of his legal arguments against the case: that it shouldn’t proceed in a New York court because he lives in Washington.
“Trump’s lifelong connection to New York is as strong as ever,” Carroll attorney Roberta Kaplan wrote in a court filing Monday. It seeks a ruling that Trump can’t use the not-a-New Yorker argument, which a judge swatted down in early January but his lawyers later advanced again.
Trump’s lawyers did not return messages seeking comment.
Trump’s lawyers have been focusing since February on a different approach to trying to halt Carroll’s suit, arguing it shouldn’t proceed until New York’s highest court decides — in a separate case — whether an incumbent president is protected from all state-court suits unrelated to his official duties.
It’s unclear how soon a judge may rule on Trump’s request to pause Carroll’s case. The coronavirus has upended New York court operations for months.
Carroll, a former longtime advice columnist for Elle magazine, went public last year with an allegation that Trump raped her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room. She said it happened after a chance encounter and lighthearted chat about trying on a bodysuit.
Trump said Carroll was “totally lying” to sell a memoir and that he’d never met her, though a 1987 photo showed them and their then-spouses at a social event. He said it just captured a moment when he was standing in a line.
Carroll is seeking a DNA sample from Trump to see whether it matches as-yet-unidentified male genetic material found on a dress that she says she was wearing during the alleged attack and never put on again until a photo shoot last year.
In the suit, Carroll is seeking damages and a retraction of Trump’s statements.
The Associated Press does not identify people who say they have been sexually assaulted unless they come forward publicly.
Source: AP News