Donald Trump Must Testify in Security Team Assault Case: Judge
A Bronx judge has ordered former President Donald Trump to sit for a videotaped deposition by October’s end in a lawsuit brought by activists who were allegedly assaulted during a 2015 protest outside Trump Tower.
“Donald J. Trump shall appear for a deposition on October 18, 2021 at 10 a.m. at 725 5th Ave., New York, NY, or, in the event of illness or emergency, on another mutually agreed to date that is on or before October 31, 2021,” said Judge Doris Gonzalez in an order dated Sept. 28 and filed Oct. 4.
The deposition will take place at Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue.
Both parties agreed to the deposition date, according to the order, after two previous delays.
On July 28, Gonzalez had ordered Trump to sit for the deposition within 30 days. Attorneys then agreed to extend the deadline to Sept. 30 “to accommodate the schedule of defendants’ counsel.”
The deposition was set for Sept. 24, but that date fell through, because Trump “was no longer available on that confirmed date.”
Lawyers for the activists say they will present Trump’s videotaped deposition at trial.
“We will be taking the trial testimony of Donald Trump, under oath, on Monday after years of the defendants’ dilatory attempts to shield him from this examination,” attorney Benjamin Dictor said, according to a CNBC report. “We look forward to presenting the video of Mr. Trump’s testimony to a jury at his trial.”
Human rights activists, led by Efrain Galicia, are suing Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, the Trump Organization, and Trump’s then-head of security Keith Schiller. Galicia and the demonstrators say that Schiller and his team assaulted the protesters, sending one of them to the hospital.
“The scene turned chaotic when at least one member of Trump’s security team ripped signs out of the protesters’ hands,” the Washington Post reported at the time. “Video footage captured by several news outlets and disseminated on television and on social media shows a security guard punching a protester in the face after the demonstrator approached the guard from behind in an attempt to retrieve his sign.”
Trump had previously tried to quash the subpoena that would force him to sit for the deposition and testify at the civil trial. In 2019, his lawyers appealed a judge’s order denying that request; in April, the New York Appellate Division dismissed Trump’s appeal as moot.
In addition to the demonstrators’ lawsuit, Trump has other legal woes to consider. For instance, he faces the possibility of a deposition in the defamation lawsuit filed by former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos. In September, a federal judge ruled that the defamation lawsuit by E. Jean Carroll may continue in his courtroom. Carroll, a columnist, has accused Trump of raping her in the 1990s in the dressing room of the department store Bergdorf Goodman.
You can read Gonzalez’s order, below.
[image via Joe Raedle/Getty Images]
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