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E. Jean Carroll defamation case: Judge denies Trump’s motion for mistrial

Former President Donald Trump speaks at his caucus night event at the Iowa Events Center, Jan. 15, 2024 in Des Moines, Iowa. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

(NEW YORK) — Former President Donald Trump is on trial this week in New York City to determine whether he will have to pay former Elle magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll additional damages for defaming her in 2019 when he denied her allegations of sexual assault.

Last year, in a separate trial, a jury determined that Trump was liable for sexually assaulting Carroll in the dressing room of a Manhattan department store in the 1990s, and that he defamed her in a 2022 social media post by calling her allegations “a Hoax and a lie” and saying “This woman is not my type!”

Trump has denied all wrongdoing and has said he doesn’t know who Carroll is.

Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:

Feb 07, 4:38 PM
Judge denies Trump’s motion for mistrial

Judge Lewis Kaplan on Wednesday denied former President Trump’s motion for a mistrial following Trump’s conviction for defaming E. Jean Carroll.

Trump’s attorney Alina Habba moved for a mistrial after Carroll testified she had deleted some messages she received that contained threats to kill her.

Judge Kaplan said Carroll’s testimony should have been no surprise since she had given sworn testimony “to the same general effect” a year before the trial.

Kaplan also said Trump “demonstrated no clear error” in the judge’s previous denial of a mistrial on the same grounds.

Trump has said he will appeal the verdict in the case, after the jury awarded Carroll $83.3 million in damages.

Jan 31, 4:09 PM
Trump looking to hire new law firm for appeal

Former President Trump said Tuesday that he’s in the process of interviewing law firms to represent him in his appeal of the $83 million ruling in his defamation damages trial.

“I am in the process, along with my team, of interviewing various law firms to represent me in an Appeal,” Trump posted to his social media platform. “I will make my decision soon!”

Alina Habba, Trump’s legal counsel in the case, confirmed to ABC News that she continues to represent the former president in the matter.

Hiring a separate firm to handle the appellate process is a normal step in a case of this nature, and Habba said her team will work with the new firm as the appeal proceeds.

Jan 26, 7:17 PM
Carroll’s lawyer calls verdict ‘a great victory’

In a statement, E. Jean Carroll lauded the jury’s verdict.

“This is a great victory for every woman who stands up when she’s been knocked down, and a huge defeat for every bully who has tried to keep a woman down,” Carroll said.

Her attorney, Roberta Kaplan, said, “Today’s verdict proves that the law applies to everyone in our country, even the rich, even the famous, even former presidents.”

“We thank the jury for standing up for E. Jean and the rule of law,” she said.

Jan 26, 5:54 PM
Trump’s attorney calls verdict ‘ridiculous’

Addressing the media outside the courthouse, Trump attorney Alina Habba slammed the $83 million verdict, dismissing the jury as “ridiculous” and repeating Trump’s vow to immediately appeal.

“We will immediately appeal and we will set aside that ridiculous verdict,” Habba said. “I assure you — we didn’t win today, but we will win.”

Habba repeated her grievances with the orders from the judge, who instructed the defense that, based on the ruling in Trump’s previous trial, they could not dispute that Trump assaulted Carroll and later defamed her when he denied it.

“You are not allowed to be stripped of every defense you have,” Habba said.

Habba said she was “so proud” to represent Trump, and repeated his familiar claim that he is being targeted for political purposes

Jan 26, 5:14 PM
Carroll, following decision, hugs her attorneys

After the decision was announced, E. Jean Carroll and her lawyers locked hands as they stood for the jury to exit, and multiple jurors appeared to nod toward them as they left the courtroom for the final time.

Carroll and her lawyers immediately broke into a group hug as soon as Kaplan dismissed the parties.

Trump’s defense team promptly exited the courtroom once they were dismissed, and his attorney Alina Habba thanked the court’s staff for their service.

Shortly after Judge Kaplan’s deputy read the verdict, the judge thanked the jury for their service and offered them a suggestion about interacting with the media.

“My advice to you is that you never disclose that you were on this jury, and I won’t say anything more about it,” Kaplan told the jury.

Jan 26, 5:06 PM
Trump says he plans to appeal

Writing on his social media platform, former President Trump called the $83 million decision “Absolutely ridiculous!” and said he will appeal.

The former president was not in the courtroom when the decision was announced.

Jan 26, 4:28 PM
Jury reaches verdict

The jury in former President Donald Trump’s defamation damages case has reached a verdict.

The judge has called the parties back into the courtroom to hear the verdict read.

The jury will announce whether they have found E. Jean Carroll suffered damages as a result of Trump’s statements, and, if so, how much they award Carroll in both compensatory and punitive damages.

Jan 26, 1:45 PM
Jury gets the case

Following Judge Lewis Kaplan’s instructions to jury members, the jury has retired to deliberate.

The judge gave the parties 45 minutes to get lunch, so the court will not accept a jury note or a verdict until starting at 2:25 p.m. ET.

If there is no verdict by 4:30 p.m. ET, court will break for the day unless the jury signals a desire to stay later.

Jan 26, 1:19 PM
Trump attacks Carroll, judge on social media

Former President Trump has made a post to his social media account attacking E. Jean Carroll and Judge Lewis Kaplan as proceedings continue in his damages defamations trial.

Trump, who left the courtroom during the plaintiff’s closing statements but returned for the defense closings, repeated his claim in the post that he had never met Carroll, and accused her and the judge of having political motives.

Jan 26, 12:56 PM
‘He is not the victim,’ Carroll’s attorney says of Trump

In a brief rebuttal, Carroll’s attorney Shawn Crowley accused Donald Trump’s defense of advancing an antiquated argument that amounted to victim-shaming.

Reminding the jury Trump has already been found liable for assaulting and defaming Carroll, Crowley said that in the defense’s eyes, “even though he did those things, even though Donald Trump does whatever he wants, any harm Ms. Carroll suffered is her fault for speaking out.”

Crowley conceded more people know who Carroll is now, but she said that the idea that positive attention cancels out the harm Trump caused is “nonsense,” and she asked the jury to reject the defense argument that Carroll is somehow better off.

“Ms. Carroll did not ask to be called a liar, she did not ask for death threats,” Crowley said. “She did not ask to be accused of lying, of making up a story for money.”

Defending Carroll’s quirky personality and her conflicting testimony about her feelings, Crowley argued that Carroll should not have to prove she was a broken wreck of a person at all times, in order to collect damages.

“You can be wrecked inside and also feel moments of triumph. You can be sad and also feel proud when people stand beside you,” Crowley said.

Crowley said Trump’s defense amounted to “she asked for it,” and asked the jury, “Are we really still doing that? Have we really not moved past that naïve idea?”

“He wants you to hold Ms. Carroll accountable for his actions,” Crowley said of Trump. “He is not the victim.”

Jan 26, 10:27 AM
Carroll’s attorney says Trump was ‘trying to ruin her’

Prior to Donald Trump’s dramatic and unexpected exit, E. Jean Carroll’s attorney Roberta Kaplan had been telling the jury, in her closing statement, that Trump responded to Carroll’s 2019 sexual assault claim “by trying to ruin her,” thereby triggering “a tsunami of attacks” against her.

Trump shook his head, silently disagreeing, as the attorney reminded the jury that a prior trial found Trump sexually assaulted Carroll and, when she later accused him, unleashed “vicious attacks against her.”

“This case is about how to compensate Ms. Carroll for the harm Donald Trump’s original statements in June 2019 caused her,” she said. “This case is also about punishing Donald Trump for what he has done and for what he continues to do. It’s about punishing him for the malicious nature of his original attacks in 2019, and considering his continued attacks. This trial is about getting him to stop once and for all.”

The attorney took aim at the defense’s argument that Trump’s statements made Carroll more famous, enlarged her following, and enabled new career opportunities.

“Being known as a liar and whack job is different than being known as a respected advice columnist,” she said.

Jan 26, 10:12 AM
Trump walks out during plaintiff’s closing statement

Former President Trump walked out of the courtroom as Carroll’s attorney was delivering her closing statement.

Judge Lewis Kaplan interrupted.

“The record will reflect that Mr. Trump just rose and walked out of the courtroom,” the judge said.

Jan 26, 10:05 AM
Judge warns courtroom to be silent during closings

Before the jury was brought into the courtroom, Judge Lewis Kaplan issued a warning to all present prior to the start of closing arguments.

“No one in the courtroom is to say anything except for opposing counsel to say objection,” the judge said. “No audible comments by anybody else.”

Kaplan did not direct the warning at anyone in particular, but earlier in the trial he threatened to boot Trump from courtroom after the former president made comments that the jury could hear.

Before the jury entered, the defense asked permission to show the jury tweets from 2019 that Twitter users had written about E. Jean Carroll prior to Trump’s defamatory statements denying her assault claim. Earlier, Trump’s attorneys had argued that Trump wasn’t responsible for the online attacks on Carroll, because she was already being attacked before Trump issued his denial.

The judge did not allow the defense to display the additional tweets.

When Trump attorney Alina Habba attempted to press ahead with her argument, Kaplan interrupted.

“You are on the verge of spending some time in the lockup — now sit down,” Kaplan boomed.

Jan 26, 9:15 AM
Trump arrives at courthouse

Former President Trump has arrived at the courthouse for closing arguments this morning.

Jurors are expected to begin deliberations today after attorneys for Trump and E. Jean Carroll deliver their closings.

Jan 23, 3:52 PM
Trial now scheduled to resume Thursday

Former President Trump’s defamation damages trial has been postponed an additional day and is scheduled to resume on Thursday morning.

The postponement was announced in an update posted to the court’s docket.

The trial was adjourned Monday morning due to COVID-19 concerns.

Jan 22, 4:39 PM
Trial to resume Wednesday

Donald Trump’s defamation damages trial, which was adjourned Monday morning due to COVID-19 concerns, will resume Wednesday.

Judge Lewis Kaplan had originally said court would resume on Tuesday, but has now pushed that back a day.

“This Court functioned all the way through the worst of the COVID pandemic,” Judge Kaplan said this morning before court was adjourned. “We conducted over a hundred jury trials right through the lockdowns and everything else. So we have gotten through all of that — I’m sure we’ll get through all of this too.”

Jan 22, 10:26 AM
Defense wants Trump’s testimony moved due to NH primary

After Judge Kaplan adjourned the trial until Tuesday due to COVID-19 concerns, defense attorney Alina Habba asked him to postpone former President Trump’s testimony until Wednesday because “tomorrow is the New Hampshire primary.”

Trump, sitting at the defense table, appeared visibly irritated, actively conferring with Habba before she raised concerns about the timing.

The judge did not immediately rule on her request.

Carroll’s attorneys opposed the delay.

The judge also denied the defense’s latest motion for a mistrial, which they filed on Friday.

“The defense made a motion for a mistrial, again,” the judge said. “That motion is denied.”

Trump spent an additional 30 minutes inside the courthouse after the trial was adjourned, then drove off in his motorcade.

Jan 22, 10:06 AM
Court adjourned until Tuesday due to COVID-19 concerns

Court is adjourned Monday due to health concerns on the part of several participants.

The proceedings will resume Tuesday, pending everyone’s good health, Judge Lewis Kaplan announced.

A juror reported feeling “hot and nauseous,” so the judge sent him home for the day with instructions to get a COVID-19 test.

Additionally, defense attorney Alina Habba reported she is not feeling well. One or both of her parents had COVID-19 and she was exposed at a dinner with them three days ago, she said.

Habba said she had a fever 48 hours ago but a court-administered COVID-19 test this morning came back negative.

“We will not take testimony today,” Kaplan said.

Former President Trump sat between Habba and her law partner Michael Madaio as the judge made the announcement.

“See you tomorrow, I hope,” Judge Kaplan said.

Jan 22, 8:41 AM
Judge expected to closely monitor Trump’s testimony

If Donald Trump takes the stand as expected today, the judge in the case is likely to closely supervise his testimony based on the ground rules the judge has laid down for the trial.

Judge Lewis Kaplan, who threatened to throw Trump out of the courtroom last week for making comments within earshot of the jury, established in a pretrial ruling that Trump is barred from arguing that he did not sexually abuse Carroll or that he never met her.

As Judge Kaplan has instructed the jury, it is not their responsibility to determine the truthfulness of Carroll’s allegations because a jury last year already found Trump liable for sexually abusing Carroll and then defaming her; their job is only to determine whether Trump will have to pay Carroll additional damages beyond the $5 million awarded in the earlier trial.

According, Kaplan ruled, Trump cannot argue that he believed the two statements he made in June 2019 denying Carroll’s allegations.

Instructing the jury last week on the facts of the case, Kaplan said, “Because you must accept them as true, this trial is not a do-over of the previous trial which determined those facts. What remains for you to decide are only two very limited issues relating to damages for Mr. Trump’s publication of those two statements.”

Jan 22, 8:11 AM
Trump’s request for mistrial is meritless, Carroll’s lawyer argues

E. Jean Carroll’s attorney has asked the judge in the case to promptly deny former President Trump’s request for a mistrial.

In a letter to the judge on Sunday, lawyer Roberta Kaplan accused Trump’s defense team of creating a “spectacle” when they requested a mistrial in front of the jury last week.

On Friday, Trump attorney Alina Habba, in a written request, renewed her request for a mistrial in the case by arguing that Carroll failed to preserve evidence when she deleted some the death threats she received after she accused Trump of sexual assault in 2019.

In her response, Carroll’s attorney argued that Carroll’s testimony has been consistent with her past statements, and Habba merely muddled the issue during her cross-examination.

“This muddled testimony, which resulted from muddled and shouted questions, is hardly sufficient to carry Mr. Trump’s burden of demonstrating that Ms. Carroll deleted evidence when she was under an obligation to preserve it,” Kaplan wrote.

Kaplan added that Carroll had not filed her lawsuit when she initially deleted some of the death threats that filled her inbox in 2019, and that Habba’s request to preclude the jury from considering damages for the death threats would unfairly limit the jury’s role.

Jan 19, 7:26 PM
Trump expected to attend trial, possibly testify Monday

Former President Trump is expected to attend the trial on Monday, sources tell ABC News, cautioning that the former president’s plans are flexible.

Lawyers for E. Jean Carroll plan to call former Elle editor-in-chief Robbie Myers on Monday morning as their final witness, after which Trump’s attorneys plan to call Trump to the stand, followed by Carol Martin, a former television newswoman with whom Carroll confided about Trump’s alleged assault.

Once the defense rests its case, Carroll’s team could present a brief rebuttal case before closing statements.

Trump attorney Alina Habba told the court that the defense’s case would run roughly two days.

Jan 19, 3:52 PM
Trump’s attorney renews request for mistrial

Trump attorney Alina Habba renewed her request for a mistrial in the case Friday, arguing that E. Jean Carroll failed to preserve evidence when she deleted the death threats she received after she accused Trump of sexual assault in 2019.

“Despite being served with a subpoena in connection with this action, Plaintiff failed to take reasonable steps to preserve relevant evidence. In fact, she did much worse — she actively deleted evidence which she now attempts to rely on in establishing her damages claim,” Habba wrote in a letter to Judge Lewis Kaplan Friday.

Habba originally requested a mistrial during her cross-examination of Carroll on Wednesday, which Kaplan immediately denied.

Carroll explained during cross-examination that she deleted some emails and messages that were “filled with threats” before 2023.

“I deleted them early on because I didn’t know how to handle death threats. I had no idea,” Carroll testified. “I thought deleting them was the smartest, best, quickest way to get it out of my life.”

Renewing her request in writing Friday, Habba asked for Judge Kaplan to either declare a mistrial, preclude Carroll from seeking damages based on the death threats, or instruct the jury about the “spoliation of relevant evidence.”

Jan 18, 4:27 PM
Defense challenges expert on reputation repair

Donald Trump’s defense attorneys contested the conclusion of a plaintiff’s expert who said restoring E. Jean Carroll’s reputation would cost as much as $12 million.

Defense attorney Michael Madaio challenged the validity of Northwestern University professor Ashlee Humphreys’ report, suggesting that it failed to consider Carroll’s increased social media following and career prospects after she accused Trump of rape.

Madaio also argued that some of the negative attention Humphreys calculated really came from articles about the allegation, and not from Trump’s statements denying the claim.

“It’s likely more people know her name,” Humphreys allowed.

Humphreys also conceded that she had never, herself, carried out a reputation repair campaign.

“Do you have any real-world experience other than being a professor?” Madaio asked. “Have you ever applied the methodologies in the report in the real world?”

“No,” Humphreys responded. “I teach students how to apply these methodologies.”

At several points during the cross-examination, Judge Kaplan expressed frustration with Madaio’s questions and the pace of his cross-examination.

“We’re now wasting time — big time,” Kaplan thundered at one point.

Court was subsequently adjourned for the day after Humphreys stepped down from the witness stand. The trial is currently scheduled to resume on Monday.

Jan 18, 1:48 PM
Repairing Carroll’s reputation would cost $12M, says expert

Former President Trump’s defamatory denial of E. Jean Carroll’s rape allegation was seen online as many as 25 million times and 63 million times on television, causing “severe” damage to Carroll’s reputation that would cost more than $12 million to repair, an expert called by Carroll’s attorneys testified.

The expert, Northwestern University professor Ashlee Humphreys, said Trump’s statements reached between 85 and 104 million people. Not everyone believed them — maybe a fifth to a quarter — but they altered the associations attached to Carroll’s name, Humphreys said.

Before June 2019, Humphreys said Carroll was known as a journalist, a “truth-teller and sassy advice columnist.” After her allegation became public and Trump responded to it, Carroll was publicly associated with being a liar or a Democratic operative, Humphreys said.

“I found that damage to her reputation was severe and the costs to repair it were considerable,” Humphreys testified. She estimated it would cost $12 million to repair Carroll’s reputation by placing positive messages about her on television, with social media influencers and on blogs.

Jan 18, 12:26 PM
‘It took great courage to come forward,’ Carroll says

E. Jean Carroll testified on redirect examination that she would prefer to have the reputation she had prior to her allegation against then-President Trump than the one she has now — despite defense assertions that her online following and her income have increased.

“Would you prefer to have the reputation you have now with all those Twitter followers, or the reputation you had before June 2019? Carroll’s attorney Roberta Kaplan asked.

“Before,” Carroll responded.

Carroll testified she did not go public with the accusation to enhance her social status, get herself on a magazine cover, or make money. “No, it took great courage to come forward and say what happened,” Carroll said.

While she said she anticipated backlash, Carroll said that Trump’s defamatory statements made the backlash worse than what she expected.

After earlier conceding under cross-examination that she received negative messages in the hours before the White House issued a public denial of her rape claim, she testified on redirect that the messages became more threatening and abusive after Trump’s statement.

Regarding the tweets Carroll received after she went public but before Trump’s denial, Carroll’s attorney asked her, “Did any of those tweets accuse you of being a paid Democratic operative?”

“No,” Carroll responded.

“Did any of those tweets threaten your life?” her attorney asked.

“No,” Carroll said.

“Did any of those tweets say you should be in jail?” her attorney asked.

“No,” Carroll answered.

“Did any of those tweets say you should be raped?” her attorney asked.

“No,” Carroll replied.

Carroll then stepped down from the witness stand, concluding her testimony. Her lawyers next plan to call a reputational repair expert to the stand.

Jan 18, 11:16 AM
Defense presses Carroll on her ‘bigger status’

E. Jean Carroll’s Twitter followers increased from about 12,000 to 282,000 after she went public with her rape allegation against then-President Trump, Carroll said under cross-examination.

Carroll testified that the increase was the “result of hard work,” but defense attorney Alina Habba asked, “You don’t believe any of that increase came from coming forward with your story?”

The defense has suggested that Carroll craved attention, took on Trump to revive her flagging career, and relished the verdict in an earlier trial — known as Carroll II — that established Trump was liable for sexually abusing and then defaming her.

“Did the Carroll II verdict, in your opinion, provide you with bigger status in New York?” Habba asked.

“It provided me with enormous elation,” Carroll responded.

The defense has also suggested that Carroll assumed the burden for any abusive or threatening messages by appearing on television, participating in a podcast, and sitting for an interview with The New York Times.

“Do you believe you are more well-known because of the allegations you brought against my client, Donald Trump?” Habba asked.

“Yes I am more well-known, and I’m hated by a lot more people,” Carroll responded. “I am partaking in this trial to bring my old reputation and status back.”

“So you sued Donald Trump to get your old reputation back?” Habba asked.

“Yeah,” Carroll bluntly answered, ending the cross-examination.

Jan 18, 10:42 AM
Carroll concedes she was attacked online before Trump’s denial

E. Jean Carroll, who testified yesterday that she’s been inundated with online attacks ever since then-President Trump fiercely denied her rape allegation on June 21, 2019, conceded on cross-examination that, after the allegation was published, people were sending her negative messages in the hours before the White House publicly issued Trump’s denial.

“Nothing like making up fake news to ruin the president’s win in 2020,” one message said. “I’ve got some advice for you drop this lie because it’s a bad look for you,” said another. A third called Carroll a “lying sack of s— making false accusations right after a presidential run announcement.”

“And that was before President Trump’s tweet?” defense attorney Alina Habba asked Carroll.

“Yes,” Carroll said.

Habba attempted to show more of the messages sent to Carroll, but Carroll’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan, interrupted, saying, “We’ll stipulate that there were nasty tweets sent to Ms. Carroll prior to 5:17 p.m.,” the time of the first Tweet repeating Trump’s denial.

Habba is trying to convince the jury that the former president should not be financially liable for the negativity hurled at Carroll by others. Carroll, who is seeking at least $10 million in damages, suggested that all of the negative, threatening messages she received mimic Trump.

“They want to emulate him,” Carroll testified. “They’re standing up for the man that they admire.”

Jan 18, 8:21 AM
Cross-examination of Carroll to resume

E. Jean Carroll will return to the witness stand this morning to resume her cross-examination — this time without Donald Trump in the courtroom.

After attending the first two days of the trial, Trump will be absent today to attend the funeral of former first lady Melania Trump’s mother, Amalija Knavs, who died last week after a long health battle.

During yesterday’s proceedings, Judge Lewis Kaplan, for a third time, denied a request from Trump’s legal team to pause the trial so Trump could attend the funeral.

“We would have assumed that for a trial like this, it’s not an emergency in terms of timing, the judge would have been very nice, and they would let me go because I want to be at every trial day,” Trump told reporters after court yesterday, calling Kaplan a “radical Trump hater.”

Trump’s attorney Alina Habba told Judge Kaplan she intends to question Carroll for less than an hour today, after which Carroll’s lawyers plan to call to the stand an expert on reputational harm, as well as Robbie Myers, the former editor of the magazine where Carroll worked as an advice columnist.

Jan 17, 4:53 PM
Carroll agrees she did not shy away from publicity

E. Jean Carroll conceded on cross-examination that she anticipated “blowback” would follow the publication of her rape allegation against then-President Trump, and that she did not shy away from publicity that she now says has shattered her reputation.

“You’ve continued to publicize every lawsuit you had against President Trump?” defense attorney Alina Habba asked.

“Yes,” Carroll responded. “Because I wanted people to know that a woman can speak up and win a trial. I wanted people to know. I’m 80. I don’t want to be quiet. It’s not right to make a woman be quiet. It has gone on for too long.”

The defense has been trying to portray Carroll as an attention-loving woman who is overplaying her emotional accounts of how the backlash following her rape accusation affected her.

Carroll also said under questioning that she hosted watch parties in her lawyer’s office that were attended by comedian Kathy Griffin and Trump’s niece Mary Trump, both of whom are critics of the former president.

“Isn’t Kathy Griffin known for holding up a severed head of President Trump?” Habba asked.

“Yes,” Carroll said.

Court subsequently adjourned for the day, with Carroll scheduled to return to the witness stand on Thursday for additional cross-examination.

Trump indicated he would be making remarks to the press later this afternoon.

Jan 17, 4:24 PM
Judge promptly rejects defense request for mistrial

In the middle of E. Jean Carroll’s cross-examination, former President Trump’s defense attorney Alina Habba sought a mistrial, which the judge promptly denied.

Habba was questioning Carroll about threatening emails she said she received. Carroll said she deleted many of those messages because “I didn’t know how to handle death threats. I thought deleting them was the easiest way to get them out of my life.”

When Carroll said she had deleted some messages around the time of her earlier trial involving Trump, Habba asked for a mistrial, saying, “The witness has just admitted to deleting evidence herself.”

Judge Kaplan immediately denied the request and said, “The jury will disregard everything Ms. Habba just said.”

Habba also questioned whether Carroll received disparaging messages after publishing her account of the sexual assault at Bergdorf Goodman, but before Trump issued his denial.

“Some of the slime happened before the president issued his statement?” Habba asked.

“No,” Carroll responded. “Because they were reacting to the White House statement.”

Asked how she knew, Carroll said, “Because of the wording,” prompting Habba to say, “So a denial from the White House would mean that any statement echoing it would be President Trump’s fault?”

Jan 17, 2:46 PM
Cross-examination of Carroll stumbles at the start

The direct examination of E. Jean Carroll ended with her telling the jury she would “never get used to attacks” like the ones she has continued to endure from former President Trump and his followers.

“Was he posting about you as recently as yesterday? Carroll’s attorney Roberta Kaplan asked regarding Trump.

“That’s what I’ve been told,” Carroll answered before she was shown a Truth Social post from Tuesday, during the lunch break, in which Trump called the trial a “fake case from a woman I’ve never met, seen or touched.”

The cross-examination of Carroll began on a discordant note when defense attorney Alina Habba tried to confront Carroll with some of her testimony from an earlier deposition.

There was a dispute over whether Habba had properly told the judge which part of the deposition she intended to introduce.

“We’re going to do it my way, Ms. Habba,” Judge Kaplan said.

“Sure,” Habba replied, abandoning that line of questioning.

Jan 17, 2:01 PM
Judge denies defense motion for him to recuse himself

Following the a lunch break, the defense team made an immediate motion for Judge Kaplan to recuse himself from the trial because of the “general hostility” defense attorney Michael Madaio said the judge has shown toward Trump’s side.

Kaplan responded with a single word: “Denied.”

Carroll is now returning to the witness stand to continue her testimony.

Jan 17, 1:17 PM
‘You can’t control yourself,’ judge admonishes Trump

At the lunch break, Judge Lewis Kaplan threatened to boot former President Trump from the courtroom if he continues to make side comments within earshot of the jury.

The warning came after E. Jean Carroll’s attorney Shawn Crowley complained for a second time about Trump’s comments.

“The defendant has been making statements that we can hear at counsel table,” she said, quoting Trump as saying, “It is a witch hunt” and “It really is a con job.”

When a video of Trump disparaging E. Jean Carroll was played for the court, Crowley said Trump remarked, “It’s true.”

Judge Kaplan, in response, addressed the defense from the bench.

“Mr. Trump has the right to be present here. That right can be forfeited and it can be forfeited if he is disruptive, which is what has been reported to me,” the judge said. “Mr. Trump, I hope I don’t have to consider excluding you from the trial.”

“I understand you are probably very eager for me to do that,” the judge added, to which Trump threw his up his arms and said, “I would love it, I would love it.”

“I know you would, because you can’t control yourself in this circumstance,” Kaplan replied. “You just can’t.”

Jan 17, 12:38 PM
Carroll says she’s always on ‘hyper alert’ due to threats

Ever since then-President Trump defamed her in June of 2019, E. Jean Carroll told the jury, she has been inundated with threats of physical and sexual violence.

In one message, Carroll said of the sender: “He wants me to stick a gun in my mouth in pull the trigger.”

Another message said, “I hope someone really does attack, rape and murder you.”

When another message was displayed for the jury, Carroll said, “I’m sorry people in the courtroom have to see this.” Her attorney, Roberta Kaplan, replied, “I’m sorry to have to ask you about it, Ms. Carroll.”

The message said, “i will rape u e jean carroll.”

Carroll described her visceral reaction to these messages. “The body believes it’s going to happen,” she said. “It feels like it’s going to happen.”

Carroll said she now lives her life on “hyper alert” for potential threats in and around her home in upstate New York.

“I have a pit bull rescue. He’s a great dog, but I never, never had him off the leash. When the first threats came in, I let him off the leash and he now patrols,” Carroll said. “I alerted the neighbors to be on the watch and I bought bullets for the gun I had inherited from my father.”

“Where do you keep that gun?” Kaplan asked. “By my bed,” Carroll responded.

Jan 17, 12:00 PM
Judge instructs Trump to keep his voice down

Former President Trump has been making side commentary during E. Jean Carroll’s testimony within earshot of the jury, Carroll’s lawyer complained during a break in the proceedings, outside the jury’s presence.

“Mr. Trump is sitting at the back table and has been loudly saying things” like “‘Carroll’s statements are false’ and ‘she now seems to have gotten her memory back,'” the attorney, Shawn Crowley, told Judge Kaplan.

Sitting at the defense table, Trump has been seen scoffing, chuckling, and encouraging his attorney, Alina Habba, to interject during the proceedings. He has been visibly shaking his head at some of what Carroll asserts on the witness stand.

When, earlier, Judge Kaplan denied the defense’s request for an adjournment and instructed Habba to “sit down,” Trump was heard saying, “He is a very nasty guy.”

During Carroll’s testimony in which she said she interpreted Trump’s remark that “she’s not my type” to mean “I’m too ugly to assault,” Trump was heard laughing after the judge overruled a defense objection.

Before the jury returned to the courtroom, Judge Kaplan addressed Trump’s side comments and instructed him to “take special care” to keep his voice down when conferring with counsel, “so that the jury does not overhear it.”

Jan 17, 11:35 AM
Trump ‘ended the world that I had been living in,’ Carroll says

Recounting her response when Trump denied her rape claim in 2019, Carroll said that when Trump said “she’s not my type,” she interpreted it to mean “I’m too ugly to assault.”

“What did it feel like to have the President of the United States say those things about you?” her attorney Roberta Kaplan asked.

“To have the President of the United States, one of the most powerful persons on Earth, calling me a liar for three days and saying I’m a liar 26 times — I counted them — it ended the world that I had been living in. And I entered a new world,” Carroll responded as Trump sat at the defense table. “I was attacked. I was attacked on Twitter, I was attacked on Facebook, I was attacked in news blogs, I was attacked, brutally attacked, in messages.”

The jury saw some of those messages, which mimicked Trump’s statements, calling her “lying old hag” or saying “shame on you and your lying I-hate-Trump story.”

Carroll testified that the messages started instantly and have not stopped. She said she sometimes receives “scores and scores, sometimes hundreds a day.”

Jan 17, 11:25 AM
Carroll says she’s paid ‘as dearly as is possible to pay’

“I’ve paid just about as dearly as is possible to pay,” E. Jean Carroll testified about her life after then-President Trump fiercely denied her rape claim in a series of defamatory statements in 2019.

When New York magazine, on June 21, 2019, published an excerpt of Carroll’s book that included her allegation that Trump raped her in a department store dressing room, she testified that she expected him to respond.

“I expected him to deny it but to say it was consensual, which it was not, but that’s what I expected him to say,” Carroll testified.

“Is that what he did?” her attorney Roberta Kaplan asked. “No,” Carroll answered.

According to a reporter’s Tweet from 5:17 p.m. on June 21, 2019, which was shown in court, Trump responded to the allegation by saying, “I’ve never met this person in my life.”

“That is a lie,” Carroll said. “He said I made up an accusation to sell a book. That is a lie. He said I made up the accusation for publicity’s sake. That is a lie. He said my accusation damaged the real victims of sexual assault. That is a lie.”

Carroll read additional statements by Trump reacting to her allegation.

“He said people like me, who make false accusations, are very dangerous, in very dangerous territory, that I shouldn’t have done it for the sake of publicity. That is also a lie,” Carroll said.

Jan 17, 10:32 AM
Carroll takes the stand as Trump looks on

Eight months after a jury determined that former President Trump was liable for sexually assaulting and defaming E. Jean Carroll, the former magazine columnist is back on the witness stand this morning — this time with Trump in attendance.

“I’m here because Donald Trump assaulted me and, when I wrote about it, he lied and he shattered my reputation,” Carroll told the jury after taking the stand. “Yesterday I opened up Twitter and it said ‘Hey lady, you’re a fraud.'”

The courtroom seating arrangement, with Carroll on the witness stand and Trump looking on from the defense table, brings the two of them face-to-face after they appeared to avoid eye contact during the trial’s first day Tuesday.

Jan 17, 10:24 AM
‘I said sit down,’ judge admonishes Trump attorney

The start of former President Trump’s defamation trial this morning was delayed briefly by a juror transportation issue.

As proceedings got underway, outside the jury’s presence, a tense exchange unfolded between the judge and defense attorney Alina Habba, who again repeated a request to adjourn the trial on Thursday so Trump can attend the funeral of former first lady Melania Trump’s mother, Amalija Knavs.

“I am asking your honor to have the kindness that my client deserves,” Habba said to Judge Lewis Kaplan, who has already twice denied the defense’s request to postpone the trial due to Thursday’s funeral.

Kaplan, interrupting Habba, said, “Indeed Ms. Habba, the right that he has according to the Supreme Court of the United States is to be present either in person or through counsel.”

Habba persisted, with Trump looking on, prompting the judge to instruct her to “sit down” and make no further argument.

“I said sit down,” Kaplan said.

“I don’t like to be spoken to that way,” Habba responded. “I am asking your honor to please refrain from speaking to me that way. I am asking for an adjournment.”

“It’s denied. Sit down,” Kaplan said.

Jan 17, 9:32 AM
Trump arrives at courthouse

Former President Trump has arrived at Manhattan federal court for Day 2 of his defamation damages trial.

His motorcade pulled up to the courthouse at around 9:15 a.m. ET.

Jan 17, 7:37 AM
Carroll set to testify as first witness

Donald Trump is expected to be in the courtroom this morning when E. Jean Carroll takes the stand to testify about how the then-president’s defamatory denial of her sexual assault allegations in 2019 upended her life.

Trump “unleashed his followers to go after her online” after Carroll went public with her allegations, damaging her reputation as a writer and making her feel unsafe in her own home, Carroll’s attorney Shawn Crowley told the jury in her opening statement yesterday.

“Ms. Carroll bought bullets for the gun that she inherited from her father, and she now sleeps with it right beside her bed. She checks her surroundings every time she leaves her house or gets out of her car,” Crowley said. “She’s afraid — afraid that someday, somebody is going to make good on their threats and come after her in person.”

Despite sitting feet from each other in the courtroom yesterday, Carroll and Trump avoided eye contact and never interacted during the first day of the trial. However, when Carroll takes the stand to testify this morning, she will speak directly in front of the counsel table where Trump is seated.

Jan 16, 8:30 PM
Trump expected to attend trial Wednesday, sources say

Former President Trump, who was campaigning in New Hampshire Tuesday evening, is expected to return to New York to attend the second day of his defamation trial on Wednesday, sources tell ABC News.

Trump is then scheduled to return to New Hampshire later Wednesday.

Jan 16, 6:02 PM
Trial is ‘straight out of banana republic,’ says Trump attorney

Donald Trump’s legal counsel Boris Epshteyn briefly spoke to reporters outside court at the conclusion of Tuesday’s proceedings, calling the trial “straight out of [a] banana republic.”

“Manhattan is 90-95% Democrat,” Epshteyn said, despite voter registration records showing the borough is about 70% Democratic. “Does anybody think the President will get a fair trial here? Absolutely not,” he said.

Despite a jury last year finding Trump liable for sexually abusing Carroll, Epshteyn alleged that Carroll is making “false accusations.”

“President Trump has consistently stated that he did not commit the allegation and did not commit the acts that the plaintiff alleges. He has been steadfast in that. And it is right to defend himself from false accusations,” Epshteyn said.

Epshteyn declined to comment on whether Trump plans to attend court tomorrow.

Carroll did not speak to reporters when she left court.

Jan 16, 4:52 PM
Carroll seeking a ‘windfall’ over ‘mean Tweets,’ Trump attorney says

E. Jean Carroll is looking for a “windfall” over a series of “mean Tweets from Twitter trolls,” Trump attorney Alina Habba said during the defense’s opening statement, in which Habba sought to cast doubt on the severity of the alleged harm Carroll said she endured.

Habba told the jury they do not have to believe Carroll’s account of how she has suffered as a result of Trump’s defamatory statements.

“Her career has prospered and she has been thrust back into the limelight like she has always wanted,” Habba said, accusing Carroll of using her story “to obtain as much fame and notoriety as possible.”

The defense framed Carroll’s lawsuit as nothing more than an attempt to shake down Trump for money over scores of critical Tweets that have nothing to do with the defamatory statements by Trump that are at issue in the trial.

“She expects you as the jury to give her an award for every negative comment that was thrown her way,” Habba said. “She is looking for you to give her a windfall because some people on social media said mean things about her.”

Habba showed a photo of Carroll in the company of Trump critic Kathy Griffin and said Carroll is close with another critic of the former president, his niece Mary Trump.

“This is someone who craves fame and seeks fame wherever she can get it,” Habba said. “She got what she wanted.”

The proceedings were dismissed for the day after both sides concluded their opening statements. The trial will resume Wednesday with the first witness in the case.

Jan 16, 4:00 PM
Trump ‘unleashed his followers,’ Carroll’s attorney says

Donald Trump’s lies about E. Jean Carroll “unleashed his followers to go after her,” and as Trump campaigns for president he “continues to lie about Ms. Carroll,” Carroll’s attorney said in her opening statement.

“How much money will it take to make him stop?” Carroll’s attorney, Shawn Crowley, said. “He kept up those very same lies even after a federal jury sat in this courtroom and unanimously found that he sexually assaulted her and defamed her.”

Crowley reminded the jury that Trump “was president when he made those statements and he used the world’s biggest microphone to humiliate her” — the result of which was that he “wrecked” Carroll’s reputation in a matter of days, Crowley said.

“Donald Trump’s response was swift and brutal,” Crowley said. “Donald Trump did not just deny the assault. He went much, much further.”

She quoted Trump’s statements from June 22, 2019: “‘People should pay dearly for making up accusations” about him.

Crowley also quoted Trump saying “she’s not my type” on that day in 2019. “In other words, she was too ugly to assault. She must have been lying because she was too unattractive for Mr. Trump to sexually assault,” Crowley said.

Carroll, who is now 80, sat at the plaintiff’s table as her attorney showed the jury messages Trump’s followers posted calling her ugly and urging her to kill herself.

“When Donald Trump called Ms. Carroll a fraud and a liar, they listened and they believed and they decided to go after her,” Crowley said. “Donald Trump knew exactly what he was unleashing.”

Jan 16, 3:40 PM
‘This is not a do-over,’ judge instructs jury

Judge Lewis Kaplan told the nine jurors that they must accept as true that Trump forcibly sexually assaulted E. Jean Carroll and defamed her when he denied it.

“Ms. Carroll did not make up her claim of forcible sexual abuse,” Judge Kaplan told the panel. “His false statements tended to disparage Ms. Carroll or tended to expose her to hatred or to induce an unsavory opinion of her.”

The judge made it clear the jury was only determining damages related to two defamatory statements Trump made in June 2019 when he denied Carroll’s rape allegation. He said the trial was not an opportunity to re-litigate the prior trial, in which a jury found Trump liable for defamation and sexual assault.

“This trial is not a do-over of the previous trial which determined those facts,” Kaplan said.

Jan 16, 3:18 PM
Trump departs before opening statements

Former President Trump has departed Manhattan federal court prior to the delivery of opening statements in his defamation damages trial.

Trump voluntarily showed up to court for jury selection this morning, and did not return after the lunch break. He has a campaign event scheduled later today in New Hampshire.

His attorney suggested Trump would return to court for at least part of tomorrow’s proceedings, when E. Jean Carroll is expected to be the first witness.

The jury has been sworn in, with opening statements to begin following instructions from the judge.

Jan 16, 2:08 PM
2 election deniers don’t make cut as jury is seated

A jury of nine has been selected to hear the evidence in the case.

One juror is a married father of two grown children who works in the subway system. and said he is an avid local news viewer. Another juror is a German native who emigrated to the United States and said she does not watch the news.

The jury also includes a newlywed who works in property management and gets his news from social media, a woman with a master’s degree who works as a publicist for a tech firm, and a single man who works in television.

Two people who said they believed that the election was stolen from Donald Trump by President Joe Biden did not make the jury. Nor did a man who said he believed Trump was being treated unfairly by the United States court system.

Opening arguments will begin follow the lunch break. As they exited the courtroom, Trump and Carroll came within feet of each other but appeared to ignore one another.

Jan 16, 12:11 PM
Prospective jurors questioned about political leanings

Former President Trump has been twisting and turning in his seat at the defense table as prospective jurors answer the judge’s questions about their political affiliations, voting habits, campaign donations, and any experience with sexual assault — and whether they ever watched The Apprentice or read E. Jean Carroll’s advice column in Elle magazine.

As another columnist was known to say, “Only in New York, kids.”

One prospective juror, number 68, affirmed that he donated to Trump’s campaign, followed him on social media, and believed that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump by President Joe Biden.

Prospective juror 63 was excused after he said that his knowledge of Trump’s criminal indictments — of which there are four that the former president is currently facing — would impact his ability to be fair and impartial.

The majority of prospective jurors signaled they were registered to vote, prompting the judge to ask if they had voted in 2016 and 2020. Trump turned to look at those who answered in the affirmative.

Three prospective jurors said they had donated to Trump’s campaign. Eleven said they donated to either the Obama, Clinton or Biden campaigns. At least ten watched The Apprentice.

Jan 16, 11:32 AM
Judge explains case to prospective jurors

Judge Kaplan explained the case to prospective jurors, saying, “Ms. Carroll sued Mr. Trump for defamation for certain statements he made” shortly after she publicly accused him of raping her.

“This trial is limited to the issue of the money damages, if any, that Ms. Carroll should receive for those publications. The reason that’s so is that the court determined in a previous decision that Mr. Trump is liable,” Kaplan said. “It has been determined already that Mr. Trump did sexually assault Ms. Carroll.”

To whittle down the jury pool, Kaplan began with this question: “Having heard what you have heard about this case so far, would you be unable to give both sides a fair trial and to decide this case solely on the basis of the evidence you hear during this trial and the instructions I give you?”

Three prospective jurors were immediately excused for signaling they could not be fair.

One woman said she worked for Ivanka Trump’s company from 2017 to 2018. “Would that experience have any effect on your ability to be fair and impartial to both sides in this case?” Judge Kaplan asked regarding her connection to Trump’s eldest daughter. “No,” the woman replied.

After the judge asked if anyone else had worked for Trump or his family, a man indicated he was an officer in the U.S. Navy while Trump was commander in chief. The man said it would have no impact on his ability to be fair.

Jan 16, 11:23 AM
Prospective jurors enter courtroom to begin selection process

As prospective jurors filed into the courtroom for jury selection, Donald Trump surveyed the group. One woman appeared to smile upon recognizing Trump. A man leaned forward and appeared to stare for several seconds.

“You’ve been summoned for possible service in a civil case,” Judge Kaplan said before introducing the plaintiff and defendant. “This case is between a writer, advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, and former President Donald Trump,” he said.

Jurors were told the case is expected to last three to five days and that they would sit through Thursday and, if necessary, return on Monday. They were also told they will be anonymous.

“That means neither your names nor the names of the jurors who are ultimately selected will be made public,” Judge Kaplan said. He had earlier cited Trump’s rhetoric as among the reasons for the anonymous jury.

Jurors will assemble daily at an off-site location and be driven to court under guard, the judge said.

“This is for your own protection. As you may understand, this case has attracted media attention and that’s likely to continue,” Kaplan said.

Jan 16, 10:40 AM
Layout of courtroom has Trump sitting 2 tables behind Carroll

Unlike courtrooms where the counsel tables are arranged side by side, the counsel tables in the courtroom this morning are arranged behind one another, with Trump and his attorneys seated two tables behind Carroll and her counsel.

Trump appeared to take note of that arrangement when he entered the courtroom.

He appeared to point at Carroll, then he and his team asked a man seated at the table between them to slide over — possibly to block Trump’s view of Carroll, or to provide a better view of the proceedings.

Jan 16, 10:27 AM
Judge again declines to delay trial

On Friday, Judge Kaplan denied a request from Trump’s attorneys to postpone the trial for a week so Trump could attend Thursday’s funeral of Amalija Knavs, the mother of former first lady Melania Trump, who died last Tuesday after a long health battle.

In court this morning, Trump attorney Alina Habba repeated her request for an adjournment so Trump can attend Knavs’ funeral.

“You asked me for a week’s adjournment and I denied it,” Judge Kaplan said. “The repetition is not accomplishing anything.”

The judge said Friday that he would grant a continuance so the trial, which was initially scheduled to conclude this week, would be extended so Trump could testify on Monday, Jan. 22.

Jan 16, 10:12 AM
Defense lodges several objections as court gets underway

“The court has made a number of rulings precluding evidence and argument,” said Judge Lewis Kaplan as court got underway, asking each side’s lead attorney to affirm that the parties understood the rules.

The defense objected, arguing that the court lacked jurisdiction. Kaplan quickly dispensed with the objection, saying, “Overruled.” Kaplan, who has a reputation as a no-nonsense judge, also overruled several other defense objections.

“I do think these are issues that will become an issue on appeal. We still don’t know what witnesses are coming in and which aren’t,” Trump attorney Alina Habba said, before Kaplan interrupted, saying, “Ms. Habba you have had a witness list for months.”

Habba pressed on, with Kaplan noting her objections.

“I have heard you, I have considered what you have to say and I have ruled,” Judge Kaplan said.

Jan 16, 9:56 AM
Trump seated in courtroom

Donald Trump has taken a seat in court, where jury selection in his defamation trial is scheduled to get underway this morning.

His decision to attend this trial is a clear shift for the former president, whose lawyers portrayed his absence from last year’s defamation and battery trial as a service to New York City, saying the city would not have to suffer the “logistical and financial burdens” of Trump’s attendance.

Carroll’s attorneys, however, pounced on Trump’s absence.

“He didn’t even bother to show up here in person,” attorney Roberta Kaplan told the jury.

Writing on social media last month, Trump blamed his absence at the trial on “not good advice” from his then-lawyer Joe Tacopina.

“I was asked by my lawyer not to attend–‘It was beneath me, and they have no case.’ That was not good advice,” Trump wrote.

Trump attorney Alina Habba is serving as Trump’s lead defense attorney for this week’s trial.

Jan 16, 9:21 AM
Carroll arrives for trial

E. Jean Carroll has arrived at the courthouse for the first day of the trial.

She smiled to reporters as she entered court.

Jan 16, 9:03 AM
Trump arrives at courthouse

Following his victory in Iowa, former President Trump landed at 3:30 a.m. in New York and just arrived at his civil defamation trial in lower Manhattan.

Trump is not required to attend the trial, though his decision not to attend last year’s defamation and battery trial by the same plaintiff, writer E. Jean Carroll, was mocked by Carroll’s attorney.

Trump’s motorcade pulled up to the courthouse this morning at at 8:50 a.m. ET.

Jan 16, 8:51 AM
On heels of Iowa victory, Trump is back on trial

When Donald Trump’s federal defamation trial gets underway in lower Manhattan this morning, it will be only about 11 hours since the former president claimed victory in the Iowa caucuses.

The trial is expected to take about a week, which could take Trump right to the doorstep of the New Hampshire Primary, scheduled for next Tuesday.

Trump has said that he plans to attend the trial at some point during the week, but has not indicted when.

The former president did not attend last year’s trial, held at the same courthouse, where a New York jury found him liable for sexually assaulting E. Jean Carroll and defaming her when he denied her accusation in a 2022 social media post.

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