Donald Trump’s lawyers asked a court on Wednesday to halt a defamation lawsuit filed by columnist E. Jean Carroll claiming he is dealing with several pending litigations and has immunity as a sitting president. Carroll’s attorney, however, slammed the president legal team for “cherry-picking” cases, citing a lawsuit filed last week by the Trump campaign against The New York Times. “Here, we have a President who is not only defending cases where he is not asserting this immunity but, as I just noted, he has actually brought cases as a plaintiff,” Roberta Kaplan, Carroll’s lawyer, told Justice Verna Saunders as Carroll nodded her head in agreement. “That kind of cherry-picking, your honor, is an intolerable abuse of the process. The president shouldn’t be able to pick and choose which cases he wants to do while president and which cases he doesn’t want to do.”
Christine Montenegro, Trump’s lawyer, slammed Kaplan’s argument, saying the campaign, and not the president himself, filed the lawsuit against the newspaper regarding a March 2019 column. She also argued that Carroll’s defamation suit should be delayed until a state appeals court decides on a similar case filed by former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos. Montenegro also argued earlier that a delay is “mandated under the Constitution of the United States because courts are required to give the president deference.” Carroll, who sued Trump in November, alleges the president defamed her by branding her a liar when she accused him of sexually assaulting her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in New York in 1995.