NEW YORK — Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers have been barred from presenting legal arguments to a jury in a defamation trial. The judge’s decision comes after a jury concluded last year that Trump did not rape a columnist in the mid-1990s but sexually abused her.
U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan made the ruling ahead of the trial, which is set to determine the amount of damages Trump should pay for defamation. The jury had determined that Trump sexually abused columnist E. Jean Carroll, but did not find enough evidence to support her claim of rape.
During a recent campaign event in Iowa, Trump criticized the judge, calling him a “radical Democrat.” He also mocked Carroll for not screaming during the alleged attack, claiming that the entire incident was fabricated.
Last May, Carroll was awarded $5 million by a jury who found that Trump sexually abused her in 1996 and defamed her in 2022. However, Trump did not attend the trial where Carroll testified about the encounter at a luxury store. Trump has vehemently denied the allegations.
In the upcoming trial, the jury will consider whether damages should be awarded to Carroll for Trump’s remarks following last year’s verdict. Additionally, they will assess statements made by Trump in 2019 when Carroll first went public with her claims in a memoir.
Carroll’s lawyers requested the judge’s order to prevent Trump’s attorneys from confusing the jury by discrediting her rape claim. They argued that the jury’s conclusion was based on their finding that Trump forcibly and without consent digitally penetrated Carroll, which, under New York state law, does not constitute rape.
Carroll is seeking $10 million in compensatory damages and is also seeking punitive damages. The trial is expected to last approximately one week, with Carroll testifying and Trump listed as a witness.
Meanwhile, Trump faces criminal charges in four separate indictments. Two of these accuse him of attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. He is also facing charges related to classified documents and allegations of arranging a payoff to Stormy Daniels, a porn actor, to silence her before the 2016 presidential election.
To summarize, former President Donald Trump’s lawyers have been prohibited from presenting legal arguments in a defamation trial. The trial aims to determine the amount of damages Trump should pay for sexually abusing columnist E. Jean Carroll, as concluded by the previous jury. Carroll is seeking $10 million in compensatory damages and punitive damages. The trial is set to take place in January and is expected to last about a week. In addition to the defamation trial, Trump also faces criminal charges in four separate indictments.