By AARON KATERSKY
(NEW YORK) — A federal judge in New York has scheduled a telephone conference in E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit against President Trump, a signal the case is moving forward despite attempts by the Justice Department to intervene.
The initial conference was scheduled for Dec.11 at 9:30 a.m. before Judge Lewis Kaplan.
“We look forward to finally moving ahead with discovery in the case, which has been on hold since Trump filed his motion for a stay last February, and look forward to the initial conference in E Jean Carroll’s case on Dec. 11, if the parties cannot agree on a schedule,” Carroll’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan, said in a statement provided to ABC News.
Judge Kaplan, who is of no relation to the plaintiff’s attorney, last month rejected the Justice Department’s attempt to substitute for President Trump as the defendant in a suit that claimed he defamed Carroll when he accused her of lying about an alleged rape in a department store dressing room.
The Justice Department unsuccessfully claimed the president was acting in the scope of his official duties when he denied Carroll’s allegations.
“The president of the United States is not an ’employee of the government’ within the meaning of the relevant statutes,” Kaplan wrote. “Even if he were such an ’employee,’ President Trump’s allegedly defamatory statements concerning Ms. Carroll would not have been within the scope of his employment.”
The defamation lawsuit is among the legal vulnerabilities President Trump faces upon leaving office.
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