Current track

Title

Artist

Current show

Weekend Rotation

9:00 am 8:00 pm

Current show

Weekend Rotation

9:00 am 8:00 pm

Upcoming show

Friday Night Mix

8:00 pm 10:00 pm


Judge Threatens Trump With Expulsion From Defamation Trial

Written by on January 18, 2024

A federal judge in New York on Wednesday threatened to expel former U.S. President Donald Trump from a civil trial after he repeatedly made side comments disparaging the testimony of his accuser, writer E. Jean Carroll.

Carroll is seeking damages from Trump, whom she accuses of defaming her after she accused him of sexually abusing her decades ago.

Judge Lewis Kaplan told Trump that his right to be at the trial would be revoked if he continued to ignore warnings to keep his comments to his lawyers quieter and out of earshot of the nine-member jury.

But after an initial warning, Carroll’s lawyer said Trump could still be heard making remarks to his lawyers, including “it is a witch hunt” and “it really is a con job.”

Kaplan, after excusing the jury for lunch, said, “Mr. Trump, I hope I don’t have to consider excluding you from the trial. I understand you’re probably eager for me to do that.”

“I would love it,” Trump shot back, shrugging as he sat between lawyers Alina Habba and Michael Madaio at the defense table.

“I know you would like it. You just can’t control yourself in this circumstance, apparently,” Kaplan responded.

“You can’t either,” Trump muttered.

E. Jean Carroll testifies before Judge Lewis Kaplan as former U.S. President Donald Trump watches footage of himself appearing on a CNN Town Hall event, at Manhattan Federal Court in New York City, Jan. 17, 2024 in this courtroom sketch.
E. Jean Carroll testifies before Judge Lewis Kaplan as former U.S. President Donald Trump watches footage of himself appearing on a CNN Town Hall event, at Manhattan Federal Court in New York City, Jan. 17, 2024 in this courtroom sketch.

The exchange came after Carroll lawyer Shawn Crowley complained for a second time that Trump could be heard “loudly saying things that are false” as he sat at the defense table.

Kaplan said, “I’m just going to ask that Mr. Trump take special care to keep his voice down when conferring with counsel to make sure the jury does not hear it.”

The jury was seated less than 4 meters from where Trump was sitting.

Trump was particularly incensed that Kaplan refused to call off the proceedings on Thursday so Trump could attend his mother-in-law’s funeral in Florida and not miss any of the courtroom testimony.

Before Carroll resumed her testimony after lunch, Trump’s lawyers asked for Kaplan to recuse himself from the case because of “general hostility” toward the former president.

“Denied,” Kaplan said in a one-word response.

Carroll, now 80, has alleged that Trump decades ago sexually assaulted her in a dressing room at the Bergdorf-Goodman department store and then defamed her by denying the attack occurred and saying that he did not know who she was. Carroll was a long-time advice columnist for Elle magazine at the time of the alleged assault.

E. Jean Carroll arrives at Manhattan federal court, in New York, Jan. 17, 2024.
E. Jean Carroll arrives at Manhattan federal court, in New York, Jan. 17, 2024.

A New York jury last year awarded Carroll $5 million in ruling that Trump sexually abused her and that he defamed Carroll in 2022 comments he made while denying the attack occurred and saying that she was “not my type.”

Carroll testified, “It means I’m too ugly to assault.”

An excerpt of Trump’s October 2022 deposition released by U.S. District Court for Southern New York included an exchange wherein Trump mistook a photo of Carroll for his ex-wife, Marla Maples.

In the current case, Kaplan has ruled that the facts of the alleged attack are already established by the earlier verdict and that the jury’s only decision is whether to award further damages, $10 million or more, because of 2019 remarks Trump made about Carroll while he was president.

As Trump watched from the defense table Wednesday, Carroll told the jurors, “I’m here because Donald Trump assaulted me and when I wrote about it, he said it never happened. He lied and shattered my reputation.”

Once, Carroll testified, she was a respected advice columnist. “Now, I’m known as the liar, the fraud and the whack job.”

Trump has made repeated disparaging comments about Carroll on his Truth Social platform in recent days leading up the trial.

Carroll testified, “He has continued to lie. He lied last month. He lied on Sunday. He lied yesterday.”

While attending the trial in New York, Trump, the leading Republican candidate in the 2024 presidential campaign, has shuttled back and forth between the courtroom and campaign appearances in the northeastern state of New Hampshire, where the first U.S. party primary election is set for next Tuesday.

 

By Ken Bredemeier

 

Former President Donald Trump leaves his apartment building in New York, Jan. 17, 2024, planning to attend the penalty phase of a civil defamation trial over a columnist’s claims he sexually attacked her in a department store dressing room in the 1990s.


Reader's opinions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *