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The Next E. Jean Carroll Trial Starts Tuesday – HotAir

In case you’ve forgotten about this case, E. Jean Carroll is the writer who accused Trump of sexually abusing her in a department store more than 25 years ago. Trump called her allegations a “con job” and she sued him for defamation. Last year she testified at a civil trial that Trump raped her in a changing room. In May a jury delivered a split decision. They did not find Trump liable for rape but they did find him liable for sexual abuse and for defamation. He was ordered to pay Carroll a total of $5 million.

But Carroll had another defamation lawsuit filed based on separate comments Trump had made in 2019. And last September a judge ruled that this other case could proceed without the need to prove a second time that Trump was liable for sexual abuse. That trial to determine how much more Trump will have to pay Carroll starts tomorrow. However, there has been some drama because Trump has said he wants to testify this time around.

The trial starting Tuesday focuses on separate statements by Mr. Trump in June 2019, directly after Ms. Carroll disclosed her allegation in New York magazine. At the time, Mr. Trump called her claim “totally false,” saying that he had never met Ms. Carroll, a former Elle magazine advice columnist, and that she invented a story to sell a book.

Now, Mr. Trump says he wants to attend and testify at Ms. Carroll’s trial, something he didn’t do in the earlier case. That’s sparked a bitter dispute between lawyers for Ms. Carroll, 80, and Mr. Trump, 77, over what the former president could say if he took the stand, and whether he would stray beyond strict boundaries the judge has set.

The judge, Lewis A. Kaplan, has ruled that given the jury’s findings in the first trial, Mr. Trump cannot now contest Ms. Carroll’s version of events — as he frequently does in public statements.

“Mr. Trump is precluded from offering any testimony, evidence or argument suggesting or implying that he did not sexually assault Ms. Carroll, that she fabricated her account of the assault or that she had any motive to do so,” Judge Kaplan wrote in an opinion on Jan. 9.

I honestly don’t get what Trump hopes to get out of this. Presumably he’ll take the stand to deny having ever met Carroll (beyond one photo op he has admitted to years earlier). But that testimony will be invalid and he will probably be cut off if he tries it. He knows that going in so what else is there for him to say? Probably the answer is nothing and Trump’s attorneys are just using this as an excuse to delay the trial. That’s what they did last year in the first E. Jean Carroll trial.

Trump was found liable for sexual abuse and defamation of Carroll at a separate trial last May, and the judge repeatedly extended deadlines to accommodate Trump’s schedule and allow him to testify. Trump did not.

So in this case Trump’s lawyers had asked that the current trial be delayed a week so he could attend his mother-in-law’s funeral but that request was denied. Instead, he’ll be allowed to speak nearly a week later (on Jan. 22nd) if he wants to do so.

Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba had requested that the defamation trial, which is scheduled to begin Tuesday, be adjourned for a week because the former president said he would be traveling to Florida on Wednesday and Thursday for his mother-in-law’s funeral. Judge Lewis Kaplan wrote that a delay “would disrupt and inconvenience prospective jurors, counsel, court staff, and security arrangements.”

After the request was rejected, Trump’s presidential campaign announced that he will hold a rally in New Hampshire, which holds its primary on Jan. 23, on Wednesday night.

Again, I’d be surprised if he shows up for this. He didn’t last time and there’s really no upside for him doing so given that the underlying liability over sexual abuse isn’t up for debate. But I guess we’ll have to stay tuned until next Monday to know for sure.

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