Defamation Trial: Trump's Lawyers Restricted from Presenting Legal Arguments
Former President Trump's lawyers are restricted from presenting legal arguments in a defamation trial over sexual abuse allegations. The trial aims to determine damages for claims made by E. Jean Carroll.
Troy D. Hanson
January 07, 2024
A recent ruling by U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan has determined that former President Donald Trump's legal team will not be allowed to present their legal arguments to a jury in a defamation trial. This trial is being held to assess damages following a jury's conclusion last year that Trump had sexually abused columnist E. Jean Carroll, though they did not find enough evidence to conclude that he had raped her.
The trial, set to begin on January 16th, is centered around determining the amount of defamation damages against Trump. It should be noted that Trump criticized Judge Kaplan during a campaign event in Iowa, referring to him as a "radical Democrat." Additionally, he belittled Carroll for not screaming during the alleged attack, claiming that the entire incident was fabricated.
To provide some context, last May, Carroll was awarded $5 million by a jury who found that she had been sexually abused by Trump in 1996 within a luxury department store dressing room. Furthermore, it was concluded that Trump had defamed her in 2022. However, it is important to mention that Trump did not attend the trial in Manhattan where Carroll testified about the encounter. He has consistently denied these allegations.
During this month's trial, the jury will deliberate on whether damages should be imposed on Trump for statements he made after last year's verdict and in 2019 while he was still serving as president. These statements were in response to Carroll publicly sharing her claims from the mid-1990s in a memoir.
Overall, this ruling restricts Trump's legal team from presenting their arguments to the jury, adding another layer of complexity to the ongoing defamation trial.
Carroll's Lawyers Seek Order to Prevent Confusion in Trump's Trial
Carroll's lawyers have requested the judge to issue an order that would prevent Trump's attorneys from misleading the jurors regarding last year's verdict. They argue that the defense should not be allowed to create confusion by suggesting that the jury had doubts about Carroll's rape allegation.
According to Carroll's lawyers, the jury's decision was based on the fact that Trump had digitally penetrated Carroll's vagina forcefully and without her consent. Although this act does not meet the legal definition of rape in New York state, it does constitute rape in other jurisdictions.
The lawyers emphasized that the defamation case revolves around the harm caused by Trump's claims that Carroll's accusation of sexual abuse was a fabrication made for improper or even nefarious motives.
On Saturday, Trump's lawyer did not respond immediately to a message.
Carroll is seeking $10 million in compensatory damages and a much larger amount in punitive damages in the upcoming trial. She will testify, and Trump is listed as a witness. The trial is anticipated to last approximately one week.
Meanwhile, Trump has pleaded not guilty to multiple criminal charges, including attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, involvement in a classified documents case, and orchestrating hush money payments to Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election.