ANGELA WEISS / AFP Donald Trump after his hearing in the libel trial against E. Jean Carroll, January 25, 2024.
ANGELA WEISS / AFP
Donald Trump after his hearing in the libel trial of E. Jean Carroll, January 25, 2024.
UNITED STATES – Three questions, less than five minutes. Donald Trump defended himself this Thursday, January 25, in the New York libel trial against author E. Jean Carroll, but his freedom of expression was severely restricted by the judge to avoid verbal gaffes.
In a tense atmosphere, the former President of the United States was only allowed to answer yes or no to three questions asked by his lawyer Alina Habba in the face of the nine jurors and his accuser who had accused him of rape and had him convicted of sexual assault in a civil court in 2023.
The big favorite in the Republican primaries for the 2024 presidential election was only able to confirm his statement “100%” during the trial. And he indicated with a “yes” that he made the comments addressed in the complaint in June 2019 to defend himself against the rape allegations that E. Jean Carroll had just made publicly for the first time in his book.
“She said something that I thought was wrong,” he tried to elaborate, before Judge Lewis Kaplan immediately cut him off. “Mr. “Trump, lower your voice,” he had told him moments before, as he framed the lawyer’s statement.
“This is not America”
On Wednesday evening, Donald Trump launched on his Truth Social platform no fewer than 37 written attacks against E. Jean Carroll, whom he has continued to denigrate and insult for months, calling it a “crazy,” “false story.” never seen in (his) life”.
Donald Trump, 77, was visibly frustrated and angry, shaking his head angrily as he made his statement. According to the Associated Press, his defense lasted a total of three minutes. “This is not America,” he said several times as he left the courtroom at the federal courthouse in Manhattan.
Since January 16th, E. Jean Carroll, 80 years old and former columnist for the American edition of Elle magazine, has been in the civil case against the former President of the United States. Meanwhile, Donald Trump has been declared the winner of the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries and appears to be on track to secure the party's nomination for the November election.
The journalist demands $10 million
The author had already had her sentenced in civil court in May 2023 to five million dollars in compensation for sexual assault in a changing room of a New York department store in 1996 and had already been sentenced for the first time for defamation over comments in 2022 unanimously by a popular jury.
However, she had already filed a defamation lawsuit in 2019 when Donald Trump, in response to allegations of rape, claimed that she had made it up to “sell a new book”. The trial had been delayed, but this second trial was upheld and E. Jean Carroll is seeking more than $10 million for moral and professional damages.
Judge Kaplan, who presided over the first trial, ordered that the second trial focus only on Donald Trump's comments and not the rape allegations. Proceedings in the lawsuit filed by E. Jean Carroll are scheduled to conclude Friday with closing arguments before the jury retires for deliberations.
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