Four months after a jury found that Donald Trump sexually abused and defamed advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, a federal judge ruled Wednesday that still more of the ex-president’s comments about her were libelous. The decision means that an upcoming second civil trial will concern only how much more he has to pay her.
A jury of six men and three women unanimously found Donald Trump liable for sexually abusing and defaming former Elle magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll and awarded her $5 million in damages.
The trial of former Elle Magazine advice columnist E. Jean Carroll’s defamation and battery lawsuit against Donald Trump began today with jury selection, nearly 30 years after the former president allegedly raped her in a midtown Manhattan department store dressing room.
The legal battle between E. Jean Carroll and former President Donald Trump has been ongoing since 2019, when Carroll sued Trump for defamation due to statements he made about her while publicly denouncing her sexual assault allegations against him.
Trump is being sued by former Elle columnist E. Jean Carroll for denying that he raped her in a department store changing room in the 1990s. The Biden administration’s decision to continue supporting this case does not bode well for Carroll. Federal officials are typically given broad protections from civil lawsuits.
The judge rejected the argument that the president was acting in his official capacity when he denied E. Jean Carroll's rape allegations. Had the Department of Justice taken over the President's defense, it would likely have spelled the end of the case.
“There is not a single person in the United States—not the President and not anyone else—whose job description includes slandering women they sexually assaulted,” Roberta Kaplan wrote in response to the Department of Justice’s motion. “That should not be a controversial proposition. Remarkably, however, the Justice Department seeks to prove it wrong.”
The substitution would not only help Trump financially–his defense, including any settlement or damages payout, would be funded using taxpayer money–but would also likely spell the end of the lawsuit. Federal officials are typically given broad protections from lawsuits.