NEW YORK (AP) — A federal appeals court docket has dominated that former President Donald Trump gave up his proper to argue that presidential immunity protects him from being held answerable for statements he made in 2019 when he denied that he raped recommendation columnist E. Jean Carroll.

A 3-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court docket of Appeals in Manhattan on Wednesday upheld a decrease court docket’s ruling that Trump had successfully waived the immunity protection by not elevating it when Carroll first filed a defamation lawsuit in opposition to him 4 years in the past.

Alina Habba, a lawyer for Trump, mentioned in an emailed assertion that the ruling was “essentially flawed” and that the previous president’s authorized group can be instantly interesting to the U.S. Supreme Court docket.

Roberta “Robbie” Kaplan, a lawyer for Carroll, mentioned the ruling permits the case to maneuver ahead with a trial subsequent month.

“We’re happy that the Second Circuit affirmed Decide Kaplan’s rulings and that we will now transfer ahead with trial subsequent month on January 16,” she mentioned in an emailed assertion.

Carroll’s lawsuit seeks over $10 million in damages from Trump for feedback he made in 2019 — the 12 months Carroll mentioned in a memoir that the Republican had sexually abused her within the dressing room of a Manhattan luxurious division retailer in 1996. Trump has adamantly denied ever encountering Carroll within the retailer and even understanding her.

Trump, who’s once more operating for president subsequent 12 months, can also be trying to make use of the presidential immunity argument as he faces expenses he plotted to overturn the 2020 election, which he misplaced to Joe Biden.

In Carroll’s lawsuit, his attorneys argued that the lower-court decide was unsuitable to reject the immunity protection when it was raised three years after Carroll sued Trump.

However in a written resolution Wednesday, the appeals court docket panel sided with U.S. District Decide Lewis Kaplan, who in August mentioned the protection was forfeited as a result of attorneys waited so lengthy to say it.

“First, Defendant unduly delayed in elevating presidential immunity as a protection,” the appeals court docket argued in its ruling. “Three years handed between Defendant’s reply and his request for go away to amend his reply. A 3-year delay is greater than sufficient, underneath our precedents, to qualify as ‘undue.’”

The appeals court docket took the problem up in expedited vogue forward of the January trial, which is targeted on figuring out the damages to be awarded to Carroll.

This previous spring, a jury found that Trump sexually abused Carroll, however rejected her declare that he raped her. It awarded Carroll $5 million for sexual abuse and defamation for feedback Trump made about her final 12 months.

The decision left the unique and long-delayed defamation lawsuit she introduced in 2019 to be determined. Kaplan dominated that the jury’s findings earlier this 12 months utilized to the 2019 lawsuit as properly since Trump’s statements, made in numerous years, have been basically the identical in each lawsuits, leaving solely the query of damages to be decided.

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