A New York state trial judge denied President Donald Trump‘s bid Thursday to delay a defamation lawsuit by magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll, who accused the president of rape in the 1990s. In her ruling, Justice Verna Saunders green-lighted the court to collect Trump’s DNA sample and continue Carroll’s public trial during the 2020 campaign season. 

Last November, Carroll sued Trump for defamation after he called her a liar and claimed that he had never met her. The plaintiff had published a memoir last summer, in which she alleged that Trump raped her at Bergdorf Goodman, an upscale department store, in a dressing room during the mid-1990s in Manhattan. 

Trump has denied the allegation, calling it “totally false” and saying he “never met this person.”

Carroll is attempting to collect Trump’s DNA sample to discover whether they match the unidentified male genetic material found on a dress that Carroll claims that she was wearing during the alleged attack. The plaintiff says that she kept and did not wear the clothing again until a photo shoot last year. 

Saunders’ decision permits Carroll to seek Trump’s DNA as potential evidence and continue pursuing her suit despite Trump’s election campaign. 

In their bid for a delay, Trump’s lawyers argued that the U.S. Constitution offered an incumbent president absolute immunity against civil lawsuits held in state court, meaning that the court held neither jurisdiction nor authority. 

Saunders rejected Trump’s arguments Thursday and cited a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that concluded that the president could not block a subpoena for his tax returns by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. 

The court had determined that the president did not possess absolute immunity against state criminal subpoenas – and Trump’s financial records were subpoenaed.

Justice Saunders wrote, “This court construes the holding in [Manhattan District Attorney] Vance applicable to all state court proceedings in which a sitting President is involved, including those involving his or her unofficial/personal conduct.”

Roberta Kaplan, Carroll’s attorney, commented, “We are very gratified that Judge Saunders, recognizing the clear holding of the Supreme Court in Vance, has rejected President Trump’s assertion of absolute immunity and has denied his motion to stay E. Jean Carroll’s case.” 

“We are now eager to move forward with discovery so that we can prove that Donald Trump defamed E Jean Carroll when he lied about her in connection with her brave decision to tell the truth about the fact that Donald Trump had sexually assaulted her,” Kaplan continued. 

On Monday afternoon, Carroll tweeted that Trump now possesses “deadlines” to provide his DNA sample and “sit for a deposition in my case.”