Former President Donald Trump sat about ten feet away from author E. Jean Carroll, a civil jury in New York on Tuesday, as he attended her libel damages trial. responsible for sexual abuse In the 1990s.
In a post on the website Truth Social on Tuesday, Trump said he would attend the trial in lower Manhattan after his trial. victory Monday night in the Iowa caucuses. He attacked the case as a “massive election interference scam” and said, “I had no idea who this woman was.”
Trump’s quick jump from Monday night’s Iowa victory speech to Tuesday morning’s New York courtroom is a microcosm of the year the former president is expected to shift between the campaign and the election. court casesincluding four pending criminal cases.
Trump arrived at the courtroom at 9:40 a.m. and sat at the defense table. Carroll sat two rows in front of him and didn’t turn his back. The two are believed to be sharing the same room for the first time in more than 25 years.
Trump appeared attentive as U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan questioned potential jurors. At one point, the judge asked if any of them believed the 2020 election was rigged, and after two said yes, Trump looked at which election.
The judge has already found Trump is responsible As president in 2019, for defaming Carroll in his statements mocking her sexual assault claim, the jury’s sole task will be to decide how much she should receive for those statements, as well as others she made after another jury found her liable. sexual abuse and libel last year. Truth Social As Trump sat in the courtroom Tuesday morning, he blasted Carroll’s account as “fabricated lies and political machinations” and said the judge “failed to see clearly because of his utter hatred of Donald J. Trump.” (I!).”
Jury selection is expected to take just a few hours — Kaplan is known for his expediency in jury selection — and then statements will be made in a damages trial that could result in Trump being awarded tens of millions of dollars in damages. . Carroll’s attorney said he expects her case to take two and a half days, and Trump’s case to take one and a half days.
Carroll is looking, at least 10 million dollars Punitive damages are several times that for the damage to Trump’s reputation and likely continuing to call his sex abuse account a “legitimate case” on TV and social media and at rallies.
Trump said he plans to testify in his own defense. “I’ll explain, I don’t know who he is,” he told reporters Thursday.
Before the jury was brought in, Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, asked Kaplan a second time if she could postpone Thursday’s proceedings so that Trump, who has no court obligations, could attend the funeral of his mother-in-law in Florida. Trump shook his head while Kaplan denied the request.
One lawsuit On Friday, Carroll’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan, said Trump was already responsible for the attack and could not address the matter from the witness stand under the judge’s previous order. He urged the judge to restrain Trump in advance.
“If Mr. Trump participates in this trial as a witness or otherwise, his recent statements and behavior strongly suggest that he will seek to sow chaos,” he said. “Indeed, he may see a benefit in trying to poison these proceedings, where the only question for the jury is how much more damages he will have to pay Ms. Carroll for defamation.”
“This Court should make clear from the outset that Mr. Trump is prohibited from engaging in this kind of filth, and that if he does, he will suffer the consequences,” he said.
Trump’s lawyer, Alina Habba, argued in a giving Kaplan’s request on Sunday is “inappropriate” and should be denied. He said Trump plans to testify about Carroll’s state of mind when he makes statements about her, and plans to discuss “Mrs. Carroll’s constant parade of interviews” when she first appears in public.
In his ruling late Sunday, the judge said simply that the court “will take the necessary steps to ensure that it does not deviate from its decisions and the law.”
Trump’s lawyers, who have tried to delay the trial several times in the past, also filed a separate lawsuit asking if the trial could be delayed by a week. Melania Trump’s mother’s funeral Amalia Knaves it’s Thursday. The document stated that Trump and his family will travel to Florida on Wednesday for the funeral and there will be no court on Friday.
Kaplan denied the request, but said in a ruling Sunday that he would allow Trump to return to court next Monday to testify if Trump’s team wraps up its defense on Thursday.
It also noted that despite Trump’s claim that Wednesday was a family travel day, “Mr. Trump has scheduled a campaign meeting in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on January 17, 2024.”
The trial is the second involving Carroll and Trump.
Last year, a jury convicted Trump in a trial before the same judge sexual abuse Carroll, a magazine writer, for defaming her in a Manhattan department store dressing room in the mid-1990s and after leaving the White House, calling her a “stupid job” and her story a “hoax,” among other insults. A jury awarded him $5 million in damages, a verdict Trump has appealed.
Carroll’s attorneys used — and plan to use again, according to court documents — hours video recording Trump participated in the trial in October 2022. In the deposition, Trump called Carroll’s claims “a big lie” and “pure fabrication” and insisted that “physically, he’s not my type.”
During questioning, he was shown an old photo of Carroll standing together at an event got him wrong for then-wife Marla Maples. “This is Marla. “Yes, this is my wife,” he said. After being shown the error, he said the image was “too blurry”.
On appeal in that case, Trump’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, told NBC News on Monday that he has declined to represent Trump in that case, as well as in the New York criminal case, over allegations that he falsified employment documents. Tacopina, a longtime high-profile New York lawyer, declined to comment further on the action, which was first reported. The Whatw York Times.
Carroll went public with allegations that Trump raped her in 2019. She was able to sue Trump for rape in 2022 after passing New York. law opened a one-year window for adult victims of sex crimes to file civil lawsuits, even if the statute of limitations had expired on their claims, as was the case for Carroll.
The jury did not find Trump liable for rape under New York’s criminal law, but did find him liable for sexual assault.
As a result of the ruling, Kaplan sued Trump for defamation in a case that will go to trial on Tuesday. It is based on the then-president’s claim that he never met Carroll and that he made up the story to promote his book. was paid to fabricate the story.
Trump said in a statement on June 21, 2019, “This is a disgrace and people should pay dearly for these false accusations.”
Carroll is seeking more money in the case than ever before, arguing that what Trump said as president hurt him more than comments he made about him after his presidency.
The judge’s finding of liability greatly limits Trump’s ability to defend the case because he cannot deny responsibility for the attack. In court filings filed in November, Trump’s team said they planned to argue that Carroll “suffered no reputational or economic harm as a result of the statements” and that, if he did, any such harm would be minimal. The judge told potential jurors that Trump’s attorneys argued that Carroll should receive “nominal” damages and no punitive damages.
As in the first trial, the judge will use the moment anonymous jury “There is a high likelihood of unwanted media attention to jurors, influence attempts and/or prosecutions or worse by supporters of Mr. Trump. [and/or by Mr. Trump himself].”
He ordered that the jurors’ names, addresses and workplaces not be released, and said the panel would be picked up and dropped off at an undisclosed location each day.