Former President Donald Trump wants his upcoming defamation trial delayed, arguing that his recent indictment has stoked a “media frenzy” that warrants a “cooling off” period.
Trump was indicted on 34 felony counts on April 4. He is scheduled to go on trial on April 25 for allegedly defaming magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll.
The start of the trial should be pushed back for four weeks because of the “deluge of prejudicial media coverage” concerning Trump’s indictment and arraignment, Joseph Tacopina and Alina Habba, lawyers for Trump, wrote to the court.
Trump was the first former president indicted and was arraigned as hundreds of demonstrators and reporters gathered outside the courtroom, they noted.
“Holding the trial of this case a mere three weeks after these historic events will guarantee that many, if not most, prospective jurors will have the criminal allegations top of mind when judging President Trump’s defense against Ms. Carroll’s allegations,” they added.
Carroll has accused Trump of raping her in the 1990s. Trump said she made up the story and that Carroll is “not my type.” Trump’s statements amount to defamation, Carroll charged in a civil lawsuit. The case survived a motion to dismiss and is set to move to trial.
Trump was indicted on felony charges after allegedly falsifying business records to hide payments he made to a lawyer who had paid an adult film actress, Stormy Daniels, not to talk about her alleged affair with Trump.
While Trump is regularly covered by the media because he’s campaigning and a former president, the indictment caused a spike in stories and broadcast coverage, evidenced by a jump in Google searches, Trump’s lawyers said. They also said that because the indictment and the civil suit relate to purported sexual misconduct, a “cooling off” period is warranted.
A four-week delay should be ordered “to allow the media frenzy to recede,” according to the lawyers.
“A short postponement of the trial will allow the recent surge in media coverage to subside and increase the likelihood that President Trump receives a fair trial,” they said, asserting that the criminal case is unlikely to set off fresh coverage until August, the deadline for the parties to file motions.
Carroll’s lawyers have not yet replied to the request, which was made to U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan.
The judge, a Clinton appointee overseeing the case, set the trial date in February, after rejecting a motion to dismiss the litigation.
From The Epoch Times