Judge rejects Trump's request to delay trial in rape accuser Carroll's lawsuit

By - Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Monday rejected former President Donald Trump's request to delay a scheduled April 25 trial over whether he defamed former Elle magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll by denying he raped her.

Last week, Trump's lawyers urged U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan to grant a four-week "cooling-off" period to at least May 23 to give Trump a fair trial, citing a recent "deluge of prejudicial media coverage" of criminal charges against him filed by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

In a written order on Monday, Kaplan said Carroll's case was "entirely unrelated" to the state prosecution, in which Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records in connection with a hush money payment made to a porn star before the 2016 election.

Kaplan said there was no reason to assume it would be easier to seat a fair and impartial jury in May rather than in April. He also said that some of the recent media coverage of the criminal charges against Trump was based on his own public statements.

"It does not sit well for Mr. Trump to promote pretrial publicity and then to claim that coverage that he promoted was prejudicial to him," Kaplan wrote.

(Reporting by Luc Cohen in New York; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Mark Potter)

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