Former President Donald Trump sought Wednesday to delay a writer's defamation and battery case that is scheduled to go on trial this month, arguing the "deluge" of media coverage of his recent indictment on 34 criminal charges makes fairness impossible.
The writer, E. Jean Carroll, sued Trump in November alleging he defamed her by calling her a liar when he denied her claim that Trump raped her in a department store dressing room. She added a charge of battery under a recently adopted New York law that allows adult survivors of sexual abuse to sue their alleged attacker regardless of the statute of limitations.
Trump has repeatedly denied Carroll's allegations.
The trial is scheduled to begin April 25 in Manhattan federal court but Trump's attorney, Joe Tacopina, asked the judge for a "cooling off" period in an overnight filing.
"President Trump can only receive a fair trial in a calmer media environment than the one created by the New York County District Attorney," Tacopina wrote in a letter to the judge asking for a four-week delay.
If the trial goes forward as scheduled, "prospective jurors will have the criminal allegations top of mind," Tacopina said.
Carroll opposed Trump's attempt to delay her upcoming defamation and battery case, calling it "obviously meritless."
Her attorneys took issue with Trump's assertion the publicity associated with his indictment makes it impossible for the court to seat a fair jury.
"Trump is exceptionally ill-suited to complain about fairness when he has instigated (and sought to benefit from) so much of the very coverage about which he now complains," Carroll's attorneys said in a letter to the judge.
Trump is not required to attend the trial. The judge has given Trump's attorneys until next week to inform the court whether he will attend.