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Trump Lawyers Granted Deposition of Rape Accuser

A Manhattan federal judge on Thursday allowed attorneys of former President Donald Trump to depose, for questions related to witness credibility, E. Jean Carroll, a writer who accused Trump of sexual assault and defamation.

U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, a Clinton appointee, ordered that Trump’s attorneys, Joseph Tacopina and Alina Habba, can question Carroll on an apparent inconsistency in her sworn testimony in pre-trial depositions about how she funded her defamation lawsuit against Trump.

It came after Trump’s attorneys learned days ago that—contrary to Carroll’s sworn statements in an Oct. 14, 2022, deposition that no one else is paying her legal fees—prominent Democrat donor, LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman, is funding at least some of her legal fees.

This apparent inconsistency “might prove relevant to the question of plaintiffs credibility, in view of the deposition testimony” of Carroll, the judge wrote in his Thursday order.

The lawsuit dated to 2019, when Carroll accused Trump of sexually assaulting her in the mid-1990s.

After the then-president denied her allegations in 2019, Carroll filed a defamation lawsuit against him in the same year, which bounced around state, federal, and appellate courts in New York and Washington, D.C.

Trump has denied all of Carroll’s allegations.

Thursday’s development gives Trump’s attorneys an opportunity before the upcoming trial, set for April 25, to gather potential evidence to advance their position that Carroll is not credible.

Inconsistent Statements

In an Oct. 14, 2022, deposition, Carroll said under oath that her legal fees are paid on contingency—meaning that the payment will be contingent upon the case’s success and confirmed that no one else was paying her legal fees.

But according to an April 10 letter from Carroll’s attorney to Trump’s attorneys, Carroll “now recalls that at some point her counsel secured additional funding from a nonprofit organization to offset certain expenses and legal fees.”

This funding, Carroll’s attorney Roberta Kaplan wrote in an April 13 response to Trump’s letter, was obtained from “a nonprofit to help pay certain costs and fees in connection with the firm’s work on Carroll’s behalf.”

The said non-profit was the Democrat-aligned 501(c)(4) nonprofit American Future Republic, the two parties’ April 13 filings indicate.

Trump’s lawyers say the “primary backer” of this nonprofit is Hoffman, the billionaire founder of LinkedIn. Carroll’s attorneys did not dispute this claim and cited Hoffman’s name in their response letter on April 13.

Influence Watch, the Capital Research Center’s policy influence watchdog website, states that Hoffman is the “primary funder” of American Future Republic and characterizes the nonprofit as “left-of-center.” The website says the nonprofit had a revenue of over $21.9 million in 2019.

The inconsistency in Carroll’s statements affects the merit of the case, Trump’s attorneys allege in their April 13 letter, considering that Hoffman is openly anti-Trump and might have funded Carroll’s legal fees “for the purpose of pushing a political agenda.”

“[Carroll’s] potential political ties are pertinent to her motivation for filing her lawsuits, her potential bias against Defendant, and her credibility as a witness,” they added.

In response to this claim, Kaplan downplayed the funding in their April 13 filing and wrote that his firm, Kaplan, Hecker & Fink, secured the funding from American Future Republic in September 2020, or about 10 months after Carroll launched the lawsuit in September 2019.

“Carroll is not a wealthy person,” Kaplan said. “Trump, by contrast, claims to be a billionaire who has reportedly used his own [Political Action Committee] funding to pay for his personal attorneys.”

“We informed Trump’s counsel that Carroll has never met and has never been party to any communications (written or oral) with anyone associated with the nonprofit,” Kaplan added, rejecting Trump’s attorneys’ claim that the funding has to do with the merit of the case.

Kaplan also alleged that Trump’s Thursday request to depose Carroll was a delay tactic.

In its Thursday ruling, the court partially endorsed the position of Trump’s attorneys. It ordered Carroll’s attorney to send Trump’s attorneys documents related to Carroll’s knowledge of the source of her legal funds in the case and allowed Trump’s proposed deposition of Carroll to take place no later than April 19 limited to an hour in length.

The court rejected Trump’s lawyer’s position that the source of Carroll’s funding relates to the case’s merit.

“The question whether and when plaintiff or her counsel have obtained financial support in this action has nothing directly to do with the ultimate merits of the case,” the judge opined in the Thursday order, noting that he is not yet issuing a ruling on this question.

READ 79 COMMENTS
  • Rosalee says:

    1990’s?? Really!! Is not there a Time Limit on these type of charges???? The Left, it seems, has hired “ambulance” chasers, to keep this “illegal” actions going!! Now is the tables were turned, the Left would do everything they could to SHUT down the accusations against their candidate, like they have with their “puppet” Biden. Oh, the evil in men’s hearts!!!

  • LMS says:

    This really gets old with these idiots that try to pull this BS! Right off the bat, IF Trump was going to be interested in a woman she better be a 10+ hot hot hot looking woman not some homely ugly cow! Sorry honey, just that aspect alone tells a lot, you’re full of it! ANY women involved with Trump whether intimate or professional are gorgeous!

    Will these cows ever learn! Typical left and would you expect different! If they want to make money than go after pervy Biden. Show him your childhood picture and he’ll start sniffing your hair. We know that’s Bidens foreplay!

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