Judge Rules Against Trump’s Lawyers in Defamation Trial Over Rape Allegations

Des Moines, Iowa – A judge has ruled that former President Donald Trump’s lawyers cannot present legal arguments at a defamation trial examining damages awarded for an alleged rape incident in the mid-1990s. The decision was made by U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan ahead of the trial set for January 16, where the amount of defamation damages against Trump will be determined.

Last May, a jury concluded that Trump sexually abused columnist E. Jean Carroll but found insufficient evidence to support a rape claim. As a result, Carroll was awarded $5 million in damages. However, Trump criticized the judge as a “radical Democrat” and publicly dismissed Carroll’s allegations. He claimed that Carroll’s account was fabricated and questioned why she did not scream during the alleged attack.

During the upcoming trial, the jury will consider whether additional damages should be imposed on Trump for comments he made following last year’s verdict and in 2019, while he was still President. Carroll’s lawyers argued that Trump’s attorneys should not be allowed to confuse the jury by disputing the credibility of Carroll’s rape claim.

Carroll’s legal team emphasized that the defamation stemmed from Trump’s assertions that her allegations were completely untrue and motivated by improper or nefarious intentions. They further explained that the jury’s ruling illustrated their consensus that Trump forcibly and non-consensually penetrated Carroll’s vagina, which, while not classified as rape under New York state law, constitutes rape in other jurisdictions.

Carroll is seeking $10 million in compensatory damages and a substantial amount in unspecified punitive damages during the trial. Notably, Trump has yet to respond to the charges.

In addition to the defamation trial, Trump currently faces criminal charges in four indictments. Two of these accusations involve attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. The other charges include a case involving classified documents and allegations of arranging hush-money payments to porn actor Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election.

The trial is expected to last approximately one week, with both Carroll and Trump set to testify. Ensuing deliberations will determine the extent of damages for the defamation case.