Trump Lawyers Cannot Leverage E. Jean Carroll Case In Trial

A US court has ruled that the legal team representing ex-president Donald Trump cannot rely on the jury’s finding last year that he was not guilty of unwanted advances and assaulting a journalist in the mid-1990s when calculating damages in a defamation action. The ruling was announced in an order before Trump’s defamation damages trial on January 16. The panel had previously found that Trump had assaulted columnist E. Jean Carroll but had failed to establish proof of rape. During his speech in Iowa, Trump—who is now leading the Republican race for the 2024 presidential nomination—called the judge a “radical Democrat” and made fun of E. Jean Carroll for not yelling when she was allegedly assaulted.

Last May, a jury awarded Carroll, 80, $5 million after finding that Trump assaulted her in a dressing room of a high-end department shop in 1996 and defamed her in 2022. The Manhattan trial, in which Carroll testified that a random meeting at a Bergdorf Goodman shop across the street from Trump Tower was playful and charming until he committed unwanted advances and shoved her against a changing room wall, was attended by neither Trump nor Carroll. Trump has strongly refuted the accusation.

A jury will decide this month whether Trump should be fined for comments he made after last year’s decision and in 2019 while in office, following Carroll’s first public statement about her accusations from the mid-1990s in a book. Carroll plans to sue for $10 million in compensation damages and much more in punitive penalties, the exact amount of which is still unclear. On Saturday, a lawyer for Trump did not respond right away.

In four separate indictments, Trump is facing criminal charges; two of these allege that he sought to invalidate the 2020 presidential election results; the other two involve classified documents; and the fourth alleges that he conspired to bribe porn actress Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet before the 2016 election. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all four.