Trump storms out of courtroom during defamation case

 January 27, 2024

Former President Donald Trump's defamation trial involving E. Jean Carroll took a wild twist.

According to the Daily Mail, at one point during the closing arguments, the former president got up and left the courtroom, only to return later.

Trump's lawyer in the case, Alina Habba, was also threatened with jail time by Judge Lewis Kaplan after the two had what was described as an "intense exchange."

The former president left the courtroom after an attorney for Carroll attempted to convince the jury that they should "punish" Trump.

What happened?

Trump, who shocked many by appearing on the day of closing arguments in the case, wasn't thrilled with how Carroll's lawyer spoke to the jury.

Attorney Roberta Kaplan told the jury that Trump should be punished and claimed "he thinks the rules don't apply to him." He also pushed for at least $24 million in damages.

"It will take an unusually high punitive damages award to stop Donald Trump. The one thing that Donald Trump cares about is money," Carroll's lawyer said, adding, "Now is the time to make him pay for it, and now is the time to make him pay dearly."

Trump would later return to the courtroom roughly an hour later. In the meantime, Habba and Judge Kaplan "locked horns" and reportedly had quite the showdown, which involved the threat of locking Habba up.

The Daily Mail noted:

Trump appeared disinterested as Judge Kaplan read instructions to jurors - and at one point even appeared slumped in his chair and looking up at the ceiling.

His decision to walk out followed a blockbuster back-and-forth in which Habba and Judge Kaplan locked horns.

"You are on the verge of spending some time in the lockup," Kaplan warned Habba. "Sit down." The judge later told her, "You will not quarrel with me."

Jury decides

Ultimately, Carroll and her lawyer scored a massive victory in the case, as according to NBC News, the jury said that Carroll should be awarded an $83 million sum. The figure was several times what the plaintiff asked for.

The outlet noted:

The award included $11 million for damage to Carroll's reputation, $7.3 million for emotional harm and other damages, and $65 million in punitive damages.

In a response through his Truth Social platform, Trump was not happy with the outcome, writing that it was "Absolutely ridiculous!" He added, "They have taken away all First Amendment Rights. THIS IS NOT AMERICA!"

The verdict marks the second win for Carroll in her defamation lawsuits against Trump. She was previously awarded $5 million in the first trial.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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