Trump In Court For Defamation After Campaign Victory

( – For a second time, former President Donald Trump, 77, was in a New York court to face charges that he defamed former Elle magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll, 80, when he denied her claim that he sexually assaulted her in the 1990s at a Bergdorf Goodman department store.

On Jan. 16, the day after his Iowa campaign victory, Trump sat in the courtroom watching his lawyers argue with U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan about the ground rules in the civil trial. Trump, who said Kaplan should dismiss the case, has stated he wants to testify during the trial, which could last three to five days.

Kaplan has told the prospective jury they do not need to consider whether the alleged assault happened or if Trump lied after, but only how much Carroll should receive in damages. She is seeking a minimum of $10 million in damages.

Some prospective jurors said in previous elections that they supported Democratic candidates, including one who volunteered for Biden’s 2020 campaign. Two prospective jurors stated they believed that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump, while one previously worked for Trump’s daughter, Ivanka. Nine jurors were seated on the anonymous jury bench, including a retired track supervisor at New York’s transit agency, an emergency medicine physician, an unemployed physical therapist, a property manager, and a publicist.

In May 2023, Carroll was awarded $5 million in damages from Trump after a jury found he assaulted her at the Manhattan store 25 years ago and defamed her in 2022 when he denied the assault, though the jury did not find him liable for the assault. Kaplan, who also oversaw that trial, barred Trump from stating Carroll made up the encounter or stating he did not defame her. Trump has stated that he had never met Carroll and that she had invented the story to help sell her memoir.

Trump is appealing the May decision to award Carroll $5 million and could appeal any damages awarded to her during the second trial.

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