President Donald Trump’s lawyers filed an emergency motion with a court Thursday to halt a lawsuit from a woman who accused him of rape while they appeal a judge’s order prohibiting the Department of Justice from representing the president in the case, The Hill reported Friday.
As noted in the report, “Judge Lewis Kaplan, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, ruled in October that the allegations against Trump in the defamation suit have nothing to do with the president’s official conduct and that the case could proceed against him in his personal capacity.”
The woman, E. Jean Carroll, a former magazine columnist, accused Trump of sexually assaulting her in a New York City department store in the 1990s. After Trump publicly denied the allegation and accused her of being a liar, she filed a defamation suit against him.
In their filing, Trump’s lawyers argued that the proceedings at the district court should be put on hold while they ask an appeals court to decide whether the Justice Department can represent the president, according to The Hill.
Joshua Matz, one of Carroll’s attorneys, accused Trump of seeking to delay the litigation.
“For someone who has so emphatically denied sexually assaulting Ms. Carroll, and has so brazenly slandered her for daring to speak up, President Trump sure seems desperate to avoid the justice system,” Matz said in an emailed statement. “In fact, President Trump is so desperate that his counsel have undertaken the kind of gamesmanship that gives lawyers a bad name. The proceedings should not be stayed in their entirety.”