Lawyers for former President Donald J. Trump, citing a “deluge of prejudicial media coverage” concerning his recent indictment and arraignment in Manhattan, asked a federal judge late Tuesday for a one-month postponement of Mr. Trump’s civil trial over an allegation he raped a magazine writer in the mid-1990s.
The request for the delay comes just two weeks before the civil suit by the writer E. Jean Carroll was scheduled for trial in federal court in Manhattan.
“President Trump can only receive a fair trial in a calmer media environment than the one created by the New York County district attorney,” Mr. Trump’s lawyers wrote, referring to the indictment filed by the Manhattan prosecutor, Alvin L. Bragg, that accuses him of fraud in connection with hush money paid to a porn star. His arraignment last week was covered around the globe.
“Holding the trial of this case a mere three weeks after these historic events will guarantee that many, if not most, prospective jurors will have the criminal allegations top of mind when judging President Trump’s defense against Ms. Carroll’s allegations,” Mr. Trump’s lawyers wrote to Judge Lewis A. Kaplan in seeking the delay.
Ms. Carroll, an author and a former longtime Elle magazine columnist, in a 2019 memoir accused Mr. Trump of raping her nearly 30 years ago. Mr. Trump has denied her accusations, saying at the time that he had “never met this person in my life” and calling her a liar intent on selling a book.
A lawyer for Ms. Carroll said on Wednesday that her response to the delay request would be contained a court filing later in the day.
In the fall of 2019, Ms. Carroll sued Mr. Trump, setting off a three-year legal battle, saying his statements had defamed her by damaging her reputation and career. That suit is currently tied up in an appeal. Last year, she added a suit accusing him of rape under a New York law that allows civil actions to be brought years after the criminal statute of limitations had run out.