Trump wants to block past accusers from testifying at E. Jean Carroll defamation trial

CNN Newsource Pristine Villarreal

(CNN) — Former President Donald Trump is seeking to block two women who previously accused him of sexual assault from being called to testify at a separate defamation trial this spring.

E. Jean Carroll, the former magazine columnist who sued Trump for defamation after he denied raping her in the mid-1990s, has indicated that she will call Natasha Stoynoff and Jessica Leeds, two women who came forward with allegations against Trump in 2016, as well as use their videotaped depositions.

The trial, which is scheduled to start on April 25, is expected to last between five and seven days.

Stoynoff alleged Trump sexually assaulted her when she was reporting an article about Trump and his wife Melania for People Magazine. Leeds alleged Trump groped her while they were on an airplane together. Trump has denied both allegations, as well as Carroll’s rape claims.

In a motion to exclude their testimony, Trump’s lawyers told the judge that, “recounting these alleged encounters will offer no relevant or meaningful insight into the central question” of whether Carroll was raped in the mid-1990s.

Trump’s lawyers also asked the judge to block the Access Hollywood tape from being played at the trial. The tape, where Trump was caught on camera bragging about groping women, is “irrelevant and highly prejudicial,” Trump’s lawyers argued.

Carroll’s lawyers say the testimony and the Access Hollywood video are relevant.

“Here, the testimony establishes a modus operandi: Trump’s pattern of suddenly and without warning lunging at a woman, pushing his body against her, grabbing at her, and kissing her, in what constitutes a knowing and intentional sexual assault, and later categorically denying the allegations and declaring that the accuser was too ugly for him to have sexually assaulted her,” Carroll’s attorneys write.

Carroll’s lawyers want to block Trump’s lawyers from asking questions about DNA during the trial. Carroll initially sought to obtain a cheek swab of Trump’s DNA but gave up those efforts.

Trump had refused to provide his DNA until recently when he said he would provide a sample of his DNA if he was given the appendix of a DNA report produced years ago. The judge called that a “quid pro quo” and denied Trump’s request saying the window had closed.

The case is set to go to trial in April while awaiting a DC appeals court decision that could determine whether the case proceeds against Trump. Carroll also sued Trump for battery and defamation in a separate lawsuit under a new New York law. The judge has not determined whether the trials will be combined.

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