Former President Trump’s Defense Lawyer Accuses Judge of Preferential Treatment, Potentially Challenging Verdict in Defamation Lawsuit

NEW YORK, NY – A defense lawyer representing former US President Donald Trump has filed a letter in US District Court, arguing for the recusal of Judge Lewis Kaplan in a recent defamation lawsuit. The defense claims that Judge Kaplan displayed “preferential treatment” towards the lead counsel for author E. Jean Carroll, potentially casting doubt on the $83.3 million verdict awarded to Carroll.

The defense attorney, Alina Habba, filed the letter after an unnamed source alleged in a New York Post article that Judge Kaplan had a previous close relationship with Carroll’s lead counsel, Roberta Kaplan. Habba argues that Judge Kaplan should have disclosed this relationship prior to the trial, citing legal grounds for his recusal.

In response, Roberta Kaplan filed her own letter with the court, vehemently denying the allegations made in the New York Post article. She stated that her relationship with Judge Kaplan was mischaracterized and that the accusations were baseless. Kaplan clarified that she and Judge Kaplan had worked together for a brief period in a large law firm, holding different roles. She also raised questions about the timing of the article and Habba’s letter, suggesting that they aimed to create a false narrative of judicial bias.

Habba subsequently addressed Roberta Kaplan’s letter, asserting that her own letter was not an accusation but rather an inquiry into the validity of the New York Post’s article. The back-and-forth exchange between the defense and Carroll’s counsel adds a layer of complexity to the ongoing defamation trial.

Earlier attempts by Trump and his legal team to delay the trial were unsuccessful, as an appeals court denied their request and the district court found Trump liable. The jury then awarded Carroll $18.3 million in compensatory damages and an additional $65 million in punitive damages. It is expected that Trump will file a motion for a new trial.

The allegations of a potential conflict of interest between Judge Kaplan and Roberta Kaplan have raised concerns about impartiality in the legal proceedings. As the case continues to unfold, both sides will have the opportunity to present their arguments and evidence to either support or challenge the $83.3 million verdict. The outcome of this high-profile defamation lawsuit will undoubtedly have significant implications for all parties involved.