In a high-profile legal showdown, Donald Trump is set to re-enter the courtroom on Tuesday in New York for the continuation of a civil case involving allegations of sexual assault and defamation brought by writer E. Jean Carroll.
This follows a landmark ruling in May of the previous year, where a jury found Trump liable for both sexually abusing Carroll and defaming her. The jury awarded her $2 million for the assault and $3 million for defamation, responding to Trump’s dismissal of her claim as a “complete con job.”
The ongoing trial will delve into the quantum of damages Trump should pay for separate remarks he made about Carroll in 2019 during his presidency. Carroll is seeking $10 million in damages. Notably, this trial kicks off just a day after Trump’s triumph in the Iowa caucuses, marking the commencement of the Republican presidential nomination process, and ahead of the New Hampshire primary.
Despite being the leading contender for the Republican nomination, Trump, 77, has announced his intention to attend the proceedings in person—a departure from his absence in the initial trial. Reports suggest that he plans to participate in the opening session on Tuesday before heading to a campaign rally in New Hampshire.
In an attempt to secure a postponement, Trump cited the funeral of his mother-in-law, Amalija Knavs, in Florida. However, Judge Lewis Kaplan rejected the request, emphasizing Trump’s scheduled engagement with supporters in New Hampshire. Trump continues to vehemently deny any acquaintance with Carroll, branding her a liar, a “wack job,” and asserting that she is “not my type.”
This legal chapter adds to Trump’s mounting legal challenges, including at least six civil and criminal trials, some stemming from his efforts to contest the 2020 election results. Trump claims he is a target of political persecution and has vociferously criticized judges and prosecutors. The heightened tensions around his trials have led to death threats against court officials in his civil fraud case, prompting the judge to order the anonymity of jurors.
The focal point of this trial will be the impact of Trump’s comments on Carroll, as previously deemed “defamatory,” “false,” and “malicious” by the judge. Importantly, Trump is barred from presenting evidence to dispute allegations of sexual assault and defamation. The legal proceedings unfold against a backdrop of political significance, underscoring the intersection of the legal and political landscapes in the post-presidential era.