After a juror complained of feeling sick on Monday, the federal defamation trial of Donald Trump had to postpone its testimony until Tuesday, when New Hampshire’s primary election would be taking place.
U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan was so urged by Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba to postpone Trump’s hearing until Wednesday. As she spoke, Habba was joined by Trump, the Republican frontrunner for president, who had reminded her that tomorrow is the New Hampshire primary and that her client needed to be there.
According to Habba, Trump showed up to court on Monday “planning to testify.”
In an objection to the postponement, plaintiff’s attorney E. Jean Carroll informed Kaplan, “we’d like to get this trial over,” and continued, “I just think we should finish tomorrow.” The trial was scheduled to last for three to five days and started last Tuesday. On Friday, the trial took a break as it had been scheduled.
Kaplan didn’t immediately rule on whether he would allow Trump to postpone his testimony.
Defamatory statements made by Trump in 2019 while he was president refute Carroll’s claim that he raped her in a department store dressing room in the mid-1990s, and she is suing him for defamation.
On Monday, Trump’s legal team joined the ill jury in experiencing health problems. Habba informed the court that she and her parents had gone out to supper over the weekend, and that she had been sick with a fever and that her parents had tested positive for COVID-19. Michael Madaio, who is representing Trump in this matter, allegedly dined with them as well.
On Monday morning, Kaplan announced that both solicitors had tested negative for Covid-19.
The three men sitting between his attorneys in court on Monday—Habba, Madaio, and Trump—remained anonymous during the entire brief hearing.