With President Trump trying to dodge a defamation lawsuit by claiming he no longer lives in New York, the plaintiff’s legal team is trying to retrieve his tax records to evidence jurisdiction.
E. Jean Carroll, an advice columnist who claims President Donald Trump raped her, is pushing back against the commander-in-chief’s request that a New York state court dismiss her lawsuit.
According to Bloomberg, Carroll filed the lawsuit in November. She claims that Trump sexually assaulted her in a department store dressing room in the 1990s.
Shortly after going public with her story, Trump made a series of comments indicating that he’d never met Carroll, and that her accusation was driven solely by financial greed and political ambition. In response, Carroll sued the president for defamation, alleging he’s known who she is for nearly 25 years.
“He knew who she was when he raped her, and he knew who she was in 2019,” the lawsuit says. “After he lied about attacking her, he surrounded that central lie with a swarm of related lies in an effort to explain why she would invent an accusation of rape. To do so, he smeared her integrity, honesty, and dignity—all in the national press.”
Earlier this week, Trump’s legal team suggested that Carroll’s suit isn’t fit for a New York court, since Trump currently resides in Washington, D.C. His attorneys said New York lacks personal jurisdiction over the president “even when the purported statements were published to New York readers/listeners, or were directed towards or caused harm to a New York citizen.”
Trump attorneys also say that the president has yet to be served a copy of the complaint in New York.
However, Carroll claims that Secret Service agents actively prevented her from delivering a copy when Trump was at home in his eponymous tower on 5th Avenue. Carroll’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, says that President Trump is attempting to misstate personal jurisdiction law to avoid turning over documents during discovery, despite a judge ordering him to do so.
“When E. Jean’s case was filed, Donald Trump maintained a home in New York, was registered to vote in New York, and had been sued in New York on numerous occasions—including since 2016—without any objection,” Kaplan wrote in an e-mail to Bloomberg. “Tellingly, as his papers make clear, what this motion is really about is a transparent effort to avoid discovery at all costs in a case involving sexual assault.”
Now, it appears Carroll might seek Trump’s tax records to prove New York was the president’s place of primary residence during the relevant time period. But, as Carroll’s response to the request for dismissal notes, Trump’s been anything but forthcoming with his tax records.
“Many of the documents establishing those facts—such as Trump’s latest New York state tax return—are within Trump’s ‘exclusive control,’” the filing said.
Kaplan added that, at no point, has Trump contested that he lived in New York when the suit was filed.
“Trump never asserts any other domicile, arguing only that the court should take judicial notice of his current temporary residence in the White House—a fact that is plainly insufficient under New York law to alter Trump’s New York domicile since it is not permanent,” Kaplan wrote.
Carroll’s lawsuit demands that Trump retract his allegedly defamatory statements against her and pay unspecified damages.