E. Jean Carroll testifies after ex-president, judge clash

E. Jean Carroll testifies after ex-president, judge clash

Former U.S. President Donald Trump’s attorney Alina Habba cross-examines E. Jean Carroll before Judge Lewis Kaplan during the second civil trial in which Carroll accused Trump of raping her decades ago in Manhattan Federal Court on January 18, 2024 in New York City, USA courtroom sketch.

Jane Rosenberg | Reuters

A federal judge quickly lost patience with Donald Trump’s lawyer on Thursday as she questioned E. Jean Carroll about her income and social media history as part of the former president’s civil libel trial.

“Come on, this is Evidence 101!” said Judge Lewis Kaplan in response to defense attorney Alina Habba’s questions about how much money Carroll currently makes.

Kaplan also said that Habba was “repeated,” citing a long list of posts on X, formerly Twitter, in which she attacked Carroll in 2019, shortly after she first publicly accused Trump of raping her decades earlier .

The trial in Manhattan federal court is being conducted to determine the damages Carroll owes Trump for defamatory statements he made after she made the rape allegation public.

Carroll also disputed Habba’s claim that her status and reputation may have improved in recent years. The author and columnist said she is suing Trump to regain her old reputation.

An expert witness for Carroll testified later Thursday that restoring her reputation would cost up to $12.1 million.

Kaplan’s impatience with Habbas’ cross-examination came a day after Trump clashed with the judge in open court.

E. Jean Carroll enters Manhattan Federal Court in the second civil trial after she accused former U.S. President Donald Trump of raping her decades ago, in New York City, U.S., January 18, 2024.

Shannon Stapleton | Reuters

Trump was not in the courtroom on the second day of Carroll’s testimony. Instead, he was in Palm Beach, Florida, to attend the funeral of his mother-in-law, Amalija Knavs.

Kaplan had previously rejected a request from Trump’s lawyer to delay the trial for a week so that Trump could attend the funeral without missing a day of testimony.

On Wednesday, Kaplan warned Trump that he could be kicked out of the courtroom for “disruptive” outbursts during Carroll’s testimony.

Trump, 77, shook his hands in the air and shot back: “I would love it.”

The judge replied: “I know that. You obviously can’t control yourself under these circumstances.”

The tense exchange came after a lawyer for Carroll complained that Trump’s comments, such as calling the trial a “witch hunt” and a “scam job,” could be heard by jurors.

Carroll, 80, had testified in Trump’s presence that he raped her in a New York department store in the mid-1990s and then defamed her after she made the allegation in 2019, when he was president.

E. Jean Carroll is interviewed by former US President Donald Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba during the second civil trial in which Carroll accused Trump of raping her decades ago at Manhattan Federal Court in New York City, USA, on March 18 Cross-examined in January 2024, in this court sketch.

Jane Rosenberg | Reuters

She testified that his lies “destroyed my reputation.”

“That the President of the United States, one of the most powerful people in the world, called me a liar for three days and said I was a liar 26 times – I counted them – that ended the world in which I had lived. “,” Carroll said on the witness stand Wednesday.

Carroll was released from the witness stand Thursday morning. Her lawyers then called Northwestern University communications professor Ashlee Humphreys, who was hired as a legal expert to assess the extent to which Trump’s comments about Carroll’s rape allegation had damaged her reputation.

Humphreys testified that Carroll’s reputation as a journalist suffered “serious” damage as a result of Trump’s comments.

The expert put the total cost of restoring Carroll’s reputation at $7.2 million to $12.1 million.

Under cross-examination by Trump’s lawyer, Humphreys said she was paid $500,000 for her work on the case, or $500 an hour. It is not uncommon for expert witnesses to be paid for their expertise in legal matters.

The trial is the second involving Carroll’s allegations of assault and defamation by Trump.

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Last year, in a separate but closely related civil case, a jury found Trump liable for sexual abuse and defamation and ordered him to pay Carroll $5 million. Trump is appealing this ruling.

Ahead of the current trial, Kaplan ruled that Carroll’s defamation claims against Trump had already been proven and that the trial would focus solely on deciding the amount of damages owed.

Carroll’s lawyers are seeking at least $10 million in damages in the case.

The former president, who faces dozens of criminal charges in four different courts in addition to multiple civil cases, has made his legal battle a central theme of his 2024 presidential campaign. He is currently the clear frontrunner for the GOP nomination.

After leaving court on Wednesday, Trump traveled to New Hampshire for a campaign rally. He hopes to clean up in next week’s GOP primary in the Granite State and repeat his landslide victory in Monday’s Iowa caucuses.

This is developing news. Please check back for updates.

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2024-01-18 19:27:20