Trump rape defamation trial day after Iowa win

Trump rape defamation trial day after Iowa win

Former President Donald Trump, center, departs Trump Tower in New York, US, on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024.

David Dee Delgado | Bloomberg | Getty Images

A day after scoring a landslide win in the Iowa Republican caucuses, former President Donald Trump is set to begin a civil trial in a sex assault defamation lawsuit by the writer E. Jean Carroll in Manhattan federal court.

Trump plans to attend the trial Tuesday, when hury selection and opening statements are both expected to take place.

The trial will determine just one question: what damages Trump should pay Carroll for defamatory statements he made about her while he was president, and then again last year, denying her claim that he raped her in a Manhattan department store in the mid-1990s. Carroll’s lawyers want him to pay at least $10 million.

Another jury in a trial last fall found that the Trump had sexually abused her in the incident, and had defamed her in late 2022 in statements denying the allegation. That jury, which did not find him liable for raping Carroll, ordered him to pay her $5 million.

E. Jean Carroll arrives for her defamation trial against Former President Donald Trump at New York Federal Court on January 16, 2024 in New York City. 

Michael M. Santiago | Getty Images

Trump is appealing the verdict in that case. Judge Lewis Kaplan, who has presided over both cases, in September said the verdict in the first trial finding that Carroll was telling the truth about Trump assaulting her and “precludes Mr. Trump from contesting the falsity of his 2019 statements” about her.

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On Monday, Trump’s lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, withdrew from the case, and from a Manhattan Supreme Court criminal case where Trump is charged with falsifying business records related to a 2016 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

Tacopina, whose other celebrity clients have included New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez, and the rappers Meek Mill and and A$AP Rocky, would not say why he was no longer representing Trump.

Trump in a social media post on Tuesday morning claimed the new trial is another example of his political enemies trying to harm his chances of regaining the White House.

“The Biden encouraged Witch Hunt in Lower Manhattan to fight against a FAKE Case from a woman I have never met, seen, or touched (Celebrity Lines don’t count!),” Trump wrote in his TruthSocial post.

“Naturally, it starts right after Iowa, and during the very important New Hampshire Primary where, despite their sinister attempts, I will be tonight! It is a giant Election Interference Scam, pushed and financed by political operatives. I had no idea who this woman was. PURE FICTION!” he wrote.

This is breaking news. Check back for updates.

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