Trump might testify at trial in defamation case brought by E. Jean Carroll

 January 1, 2024

Former President Donald Trump's 2024 will be filled with legal hassles on a seemingly never-ending basis. 

While he typically steers clear of testimony in his various cases, the Associated Press reported over the weekend that Trump might decide to testify in the civil trial involving 80-year-old E. Jean Carroll, set to start in mid-January.

The trial will determine how much Trump is required to pay the author, who claimed he sexually assaulted her some three decades ago and then later defamed her.

For her part, Carroll is slated to testify at the Jan. 16 trial.

What's going on?

Alina Habba and Michael Madaio, Trump's attorneys handling the case, refused to comment on the possibility.

The AP noted:

The lawyers filed papers in Manhattan federal court late Thursday to request that Trump’s October 2022 deposition transcript in the case not be shown to the jury because Trump “has been named as a witness to testify at this trial.”

The verdict in the defamation case from last year, which jurors decided Trump sexually abused Carroll but rejected the rape claim, was just the first phase, according to the judge. The second trial in January will determine what, if anything, Trump will be required to pay Carroll.

The AP added:

Judge Lewis A. Kaplan ruled earlier this year that the first trial’s defamation verdict means that only damages must be decided in January at a trial expected to last about a week. A new jury will be chosen for it. Kaplan has ordered the jurors be kept anonymous, in part due to “Trump’s repeated public statements” about Carroll and various courts.

The legal battle between the two had been delayed for years mostly due to appeals.

Carroll added new defamation claims to the lawsuit, claiming he once again defamed her with remarks made after the first verdict.

Possible "huge" payout

Newsweek reported that the former president may be on the hook for a "huge" payout in the defamation case.

"E. Jean Carroll has a very strong case against Trump since it comes on the heels of a jury finding him liable, and will likely lead to large punitive damages," said Bryan M. Sullivan, who happens to be Hunter Biden's attorney.

He added, "There is only so much delaying Trump's lawyers can attempt, and it is highly unlikely that the Supreme Court will do anything to help Trump in this civil case."

Only time will tell if Trump faces a massive payout.

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