The president has denied both women’s allegations.
Thursday’s ruling means that in the coming weeks and months, Carroll’s legal team can press forward with seeking Trump’s DNA, which they hope to compare to genetic material on the dress she said she wore during the incident, and with trying to interview Trump under oath. Trump can also seek depositions from Carroll and those she says she told about the incident. Saunders scheduled a telephone conference in the case for Sept. 30.
“We are now eager to move forward with discovery so that we can prove that Donald Trump defamed E. Jean Carroll when he lied about her in connection with her brave decision to tell the truth about the fact that Donald Trump had sexually assaulted her,” said Roberta Kaplan, a lawyer for Carroll.
A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump’s legal team had argued that the Carroll case should be put on hold while the appeals court in the Zervos case weighed whether state courts should defer litigation involving a sitting president until after he stepped down. Carroll’s team countered that even as Trump was pressing that case, his campaign was bringing lawsuits against the New York Times and The Washington Post.
Saunders wrote that Trump’s argument was effectively rendered moot by a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that rejected his claims of immunity from local law enforcement and congressional investigators. While that involved a criminal investigation, Saunders wrote that it was “applicable to all state court proceedings in which a sitting President is involved, including those involving his or her unofficial/personal conduct.”
Trump could appeal the ruling.