New York Judge Clears Path for Trump Testimony in Defamation Trial Amid Concerns of Chaos

New York Judge Allows Donald Trump to Testify at Defamation Trial

A New York judge has granted permission for former President Donald Trump to testify at his own defamation trial in a case brought by writer E. Jean Carroll. The trial, which begins on Tuesday, has raised concerns about potential chaos that Trump’s attendance may cause. However, Judge Lewis Kaplan assured that if needed, he would extend the trial to accommodate Trump’s testimony on Monday, January 22.

In a separate ruling, the judge denied Trump’s request to postpone the trial by a week to attend a funeral. The judge expressed condolences to the Trump family on the recent passing of Amalija Knavs, the mother of former First Lady Melania Trump. However, the judge clarified that Trump is free to attend both the trial and the funeral as he wishes.

Carroll, a former Elle magazine columnist, sued Trump in 2019 for defamation after he made comments denying her accusation of rape. Last May, Carroll won a related case on charges of battery and defamation based on Trump’s social media statement. The jury found that Trump sexually abused her, awarding Carroll $5 million. Trump, who denies any wrongdoing, is currently appealing this ruling.

The upcoming trial aims to determine the amount of damages Trump owes to Carroll for defaming her in 2019. The judge had previously issued orders limiting Trump’s possible arguments during the trial. His testimony cannot deny the rape allegation or question Carroll’s credibility and motives. Carroll’s attorney expressed doubts that Trump would have any feasible arguments remaining. She suggested that Trump’s testimony would serve as a political tactic to undermine the legitimacy of the trial.

Carroll’s attorney submitted requests to the court, asking the judge to warn Trump about violating the order on prohibited testimony, instruct his lawyers to ensure Trump understands the consequences, and require Trump to testify on record about sexually assaulting Carroll and making false accusations against her. Trump’s attorney dismissed these requests as desperate attempts to hinder the defense’s preparation.

Judge Kaplan declined to adopt the proposed measures from Carroll’s lawyers but emphasized his commitment to upholding the rule of law during the trial. He stated that the court would take appropriate actions to prevent any circumvention of its rulings.

The trial will proceed with Trump’s testimony, potentially bringing further attention to the case and generating significant public interest. The outcome of this trial could impact future defamation cases involving public figures and their statements.