Donald Trump
Former US President Donald Trump is accused of being the main cause of the 2021 insurrection. Photo by: AFP/Chandan Khanna

Former President Donald Trump had requested a four-week delay in a civil rape and defamation trial against him, but a federal judge on Monday rejected it.

In a letter last week, Trump's attorney Joe Tacopina had asked U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan to postpone the trial in the lawsuit that was brought by writer E. Jean Carroll. It was scheduled to start Apr. 25, and until May end, reported NBC News.

The lawsuit alleges that the former President raped her at a departmental store in Manhattan in the mid-1990s, something that Trump has denied.

Trump's lawyer said that the former President should be allowed a "cooling off" period. It came after his recent indictment by a Manhattan grand jury in a case that involved hush money payments that were made during his 2016 presidential campaign. The historic indictment got a lot of media attention.

But Kaplan said that the civil trial will begin as scheduled on Apr. 25, reported The Guardian.

Kaplan wrote in a 10-page opinion that "there is no justification for an adjournment," and that this case is unrelated to the New York prosecution.

He noted that the suggestion that the New York indictment's recent media coverage would preclude selection of a "fair and impartial jury on April 25 is pure speculation."

He also said that the media coverage significantly though certainly not entirely was "invited or provoked by Trump's own actions."

The notion that delaying the rape and defamation trial would decrease the possibility of "negative publicity" before the trial was also turned down.

There is a possibility that this latest request by Trump is just a "delay tactic," feels Kaplan.

The judge feels that it would disrupt the jury panel that was summoned more than three weeks ago. It would also disrupt court personnel involved in making preparations for the trial, and that includes security arrangements.

The judge said noted that Carroll is now 79 years old. Her case has been pending for about three years. He said that both the parties involved in the case are entitled to a fair trial.

Tacopina has not commented about Kaplan's ruling or whether Trump will attend the rape trial. He needs to notify the judge by Thursday if Trump plans to show up.

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