Lawyers for a woman claiming that she was raped by President Trump in the 1990s are seeking a DNA sample to test against genetic material reportedly found on the dress she was wearing when the alleged incident occurred.
According to an exclusive Associated Press report, lawyers for advice columnist E. Jean Carroll served Trump’s attorney with a request for the president to submit a sample by March 2 in Washington, D.C.
Last year, Carroll accused Trump of raping her in the 1990s after the two met and she agreed to go lingerie shopping with him to help the real estate mogul find something for an unnamed female friend. Carroll alleges that while she was in a dressing room, Trump entered, reached under her dress and raped her while she tried to fight him off.
“The Donna Karan coatdress still hangs on the back of my closet door, unworn and unlaundered since that evening,” Carroll wrote in a New York magazine piece in June. The Associated Press also notes that she wore the coatdress in a “photo accompanying the magazine piece.”
In November, Carroll filed a defamation suit against Trump, who denied her allegations. Carroll’s lawyer Roberta Kaplan has had the coatdress tested and the lab found that the DNA on the sleeves of the dress was a mix of at least four people, and one of them is male.
From the Associated Press:
Several other people were tested and eliminated as possible contributors to the mix, according to the lab report, which was obtained by The Associated Press. Their names are redacted.
While the notice is a demand, such demands often spur court fights requiring a judge to weigh in on whether they will be enforced.
Trump not only claimed the incident never happened, but added that Carroll was “totally lying” and even went further to say he’d “never met this person in my life,” AP notes.
Of course, a photo from 1987 was found showing Trump and Carroll and their then-spouses, but Trump claimed, as he does with all photos, that it was just a snapshot taken while he was “standing with my coat on in a line.”
“She is trying to sell a new book—that should indicate her motivation,” Trump said, AP reports, adding that the book “should be sold in the fiction section.”
“Unidentified male DNA on the dress could prove that Donald Trump not only knows who I am, but also that he violently assaulted me in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman and then defamed me by lying about it and impugning my character,” Carroll said in a statement Thursday, AP reports.
Carroll’s lawyer, Kaplan, noted that the DNA ask was “standard operating procedure” in a sexual assault investigation.
“As a result, we’ve requested a simple saliva sample from Mr. Trump to test his DNA, and there really is no valid basis for him to object,” she said.
Also from AP:
Trump’s lawyer has tried to get the case thrown out. A Manhattan judge declined to do so earlier this month, saying the attorney hadn’t properly backed up his arguments that the case didn’t belong in a New York court.
The Associated Press typically does not name people who say they have been sexually assaulted, unless they come forward publicly.
Carroll said she didn’t do so for decades because she feared legal retribution from Trump and damage to her reputation, among other reasons. But when the #MeToo movement spurred reader requests for advice about sexual assault, she said, she decided she had to disclose her own account.
Trump, a Republican, isn’t the first president to face the prospect of a DNA test related to a woman’s dress.
Should Trump comply with the request, he wouldn’t be the first president who’s had to have a DNA test done. Former President Bill Clinton handed over his DNA during an investigation into whether he had a sexual relationship with then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
Clinton, who initially lied about having a sexual relationship with Lewinsky, came clean once his DNA was found on Lewinsky’s dress.