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Federal Judge Steps In and Gives Trump Huge Victory in New York Case

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The federal judge presiding over the sexual assault case against Donald Trump ruled in his favor, but there was a caveat.

US District Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled, as reported by the New York Post, that the former president is not required to attend the April 25 trial. He added, however, that if Trump chooses not to attend in person, he cannot claim that he is doing so to avoid imposing “burdens” on the city.

Trump’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, petitioned the judge on his client’s behalf, requesting that the jurors be informed that Trump was not physically present at the trial in order to avoid imposing “logistical burdens” on the city of Manhattan and the courthouse there.

In a proposal submitted to the judge a day earlier, Tacopina requested that jurors learn: “While no litigant is required to appear at a civil trial, the absence of the defendant in this matter, by design, avoids the logistical burdens that his presence, as the former president, would cause the courthouse and New York City.”

“Accordingly, his presence is excused unless and until he is called by either party to testify,” the request noted further.

Although Clinton appointee Judge Kapalan granted Trump the privilege of not having to be physically present at trial, he refused to allow the jury to excuse his absence as an act of good faith to the city.

“Mr. Trump is free to attend, to testify, or both. He is free also to do none of those things,” Kaplan wrote in the one-page order.

“In the meantime, there shall be no reference by counsel for Mr. Trump in the presence of the jury panel or the trial jury to Mr. Trump’s alleged desire to testify or to the burdens that any absence on his part allegedly might spare, or might have spared, the Court or the City of New York,” his order noted further.

During the 1990s, Trump allegedly violated advice columnist E. Jean Carroll in the dressing room of Bergdorf Goodman, as reported by The Post.

Carroll has also accused Trump of defamation stemming from his 2019 New York Magazine excerpt containing statements about the allegations.

Trump asserts that the allegations are false.

This week, Trump’s counsel requested a postponement of the defamation and battery trial, citing the need for the media coverage of his indictment last month, which was brought by DA Alvin Bragg, to calm down.

The 1994-appointed Judge Kaplan denied Trump’s request for a one-month trial adjournment, stating, “There is no justification for an adjournment. This case is entirely unrelated to the state prosecution.”

“Developments in at least one of these matters, as well as actions and statements by Mr. Trump in relation to any, may well give rise to intense publicity that, in some respects, Mr. Trump might claim to be prejudicial in this case,” Kaplan noted. “Mr. Trump’s suggestion that a one-month trial postponement, in this case, would ensure the absence of any such developments in the period immediately preceding jury selection is not realistic.”

It was revealed that Reid Hoffman, proprietor of LinkedIn and Democratic megadonor, covertly funded Carroll’s lawsuit.

In an acrimonious exchange between Carroll’s counsel and Trump’s, who were debating the postponement of the trial, the most recent revelations regarding Carroll’s alleged crucial funding for the case were disclosed.

Hoffman’s financial support may or may not have a significant impact on the outcome of the case, but Trump’s claims that affluent Democrats are conspiring against him will likely be strengthened by the disclosure of the previously undisclosed funding.

Hoffman is one of the most notable Silicon Valley businesspeople. In addition, he is one of the largest Democratic donors who is presumed to be committed to weakening Trump’s grip on the Republican Party. According to Vox, Hoffman’s opposition to Trump’s policies has impacted his friendship with PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, who is now funding conservative causes and candidates.

After the New York legislature passed a new rape survivor law that extended the statute of limitations for civil litigation, Carroll filed a new lawsuit seeking a trial. It could result in monetary compensation for Carroll, but more importantly, it could brand as a rapist the powerful real estate magnate pursuing a second presidential term.

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