A New York appeals court has ruled that former President Donald Trump must testify under oath in the defamation lawsuit filed by E. Jean Carroll, a columnist who accused Trump of raping her in the 1990s. The decision rejected Trump’s argument that he was immune from being sued while in office, and that the suit should be paused until he left the presidency.

Carroll, a former advice columnist for Elle magazine, claimed in a 2019 memoir that Trump sexually assaulted her in a Manhattan department store dressing room in the mid-1990s. Trump responded by publicly denying the allegations, claiming that he had never met Carroll and that she was “not his type.” In response to these statements, Carroll sued Trump for defamation in November 2019.

The appeals court ruling requires Trump to submit to a deposition, which is scheduled for no later than May 17. Additionally, Trump must provide a DNA sample for comparison with a male genetic material found on a dress Carroll says she was wearing during the alleged assault.

Trump’s legal team has argued that the lawsuit is politically motivated and lacks merit. However, the court stated that Trump’s remarks about Carroll, which were made after he took office, were unrelated to his duties as president and therefore not protected by immunity.

The former president faces a number of other legal challenges, including investigations into his business practices, tax returns, and the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. This ruling adds another layer of legal complexity to the mounting legal pressures faced by Trump since leaving office.

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