(NEW YORK) — If former President Donald Trump declines to attend his trial next week in which he stands accused of defaming and battering writer E. Jean Carroll, his attorney wants the jury to know it would be to spare New York City the burden of keeping him safe.
Trump “wishes to appear at trial,” defense attorney Joe Tacopina said in a pre-trial filing Wednesday, but asked the court to inform the jury about the “logistical burdens associated with his appearance in a courtroom.”
An attorney for Carroll chided the request, writing in a separate letter that “the notion that Mr. Trump would not appear as some sort of favor to the City of New York — and that the jury should be instructed as much — taxes the credulity of the credulous.”
Another Carroll attorney, Roberta Kaplan, pointed out that Trump has recently attended events around the country including an Ultimate Fighting Championship event, a meeting of the National Rifle Association, and a deposition as part of a different civil case.
“On Monday, he announced that he has scheduled a New Hampshire campaign event for next Thursday, April 27– in other words, in the middle of the trial in this case,” Kaplan said. “If Mr. Trump can find a way to attend wrestling championships, political conventions, civil depositions, and campaign functions, then surely he could surmount the logistics of attending his own federal trial.”
The former president has until this Thursday to let the court know for sure whether he’s coming.
In her suit, brought in November, Carroll alleges that Trump defamed her by calling her a liar when he denied her claim that he raped her in a department store dressing room in the 1990s. She added a charge of battery under a recently adopted New York law that allows adult survivors of sexual abuse to sue their alleged attacker regardless of the statute of limitations.
A judge last week denied Trump’s attempt to delay the start of the trial, which is scheduled to get underway in New York on Tuesday.
Trump has repeatedly denied Carroll’s allegations.
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