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Judge Rules Trump Defamed E. Jean Carroll And Will Have To Pay More Damages

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


In a Wednesday ruling, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan found in the second case of Carroll vs. Trump that the former President defamed Carroll in a “partial summary judgment,” in which the subsequent trial will be limited to determining damages with Trump unable to defend himself or object to the lawsuit.

According to Reuters, the ruling comes ahead of the trial scheduled for Jan. 15th, 2024, and follows the May ruling in which Trump was ordered to pay Carroll $5 million for sexual assault and a separate instance of defamation. Kaplan wrote in his ruling, that the jury earlier this year “considered and decided issues that are common to both cases,” and that the verdict and “the undisputed facts, establish that Mr. Trump’s 2019 statements were made with actual malice.”

Carroll is reportedly seeking additional damages in the amount of $10 million for Trump’s public denial of the sexual assault when he said that the claim was a strategy to boost sales of her memoir per Reuters.

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According to the 25-page ruling Trump allegedly said,

“Regarding the ‘story’ by E. Jean Carroll, claiming she encountered me at Bergdorf Goodman 23 years ago. I’ve never met this person in my life She is trying to sell a new book — that should indicate her motivation. It should be sold in the fiction section. Shame on those who make up false stories of assault to try to get publicity for themselves, or sell a book, or carry out a political agenda.”

“First, it found by a preponderance of the evidence that Mr. Trump sexually abused Ms. Carroll,” Kaplan wrote. “Second it determined by clear and convincing evidence that Mr. Trump‘s 2022 statement was false,” he continued.

Judge Kaplan found that “the jury considered and decided issues that are common to both cases— including whether Mr. Trump falsely accuse Ms. Carroll of fabricating her sexual assault charge and, if that were so, that he did it with knowledge that his accusation was false and that he know it was false or acted with reckless disregard as to its truth.”

He added, “If he knew his statements concerning Ms. Carroll were false (or had a high degree of awareness of probable falsity)—as the jury in Carroll II found — he of course knew that she did not lie for political or any other reasons.”

Judge Kaplan ruled that the verdict on May 9th removes the need for the court to relitigate whether or not the attack took place. He also added that the verdict doesn’t allow Trump to argue that his 2019 statements, similar to those made in October 2022 weren’t defamation. Furthermore, the Judge threw out the argument that the previous verdict should allow any damages to be reduced because Carroll is effectively recovering damages twice from the same incident.

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Trump is presently appealing the original May 9th verdict as well as Kaplan’s refusal to dismiss the current lawsuit to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City. Should he prevail the current lawsuit would most likely be rendered moot.

Reuters reported that on August 18th, Kaplan called an appeal by Trump to let the second case go to trial “frivolous.”

He wrote, “This case was largely stalled for years due in large part to Mr. Trump’s repeated efforts to delay,” adding, “Mr. Trump’s latest motion to stay — his fourth such request — is yet another such attempt to delay unduly the resolution of this matter,” per the AP.

 

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