Federal Judge Sets Date for Second Defamation Trial Against Donald Trump

A federal judge has scheduled E. Jean Carroll’s second defamation trial against former President Donald Trump for early next year.

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Former President Donald Trump appears in court for his arraignment with his defense attorneys in New York on Tuesday, April 4, 2023. Pool Photo by Andrew Kelly/UPI Newscom

A federal judge has scheduled E. Jean Carroll’s second defamation trial against former President Donald Trump for early next year. U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan issued a brief scheduling order, stating that the civil trial will begin on January 15.

The decision comes after Kaplan granted Carroll’s motion to file an amended complaint in the ongoing case against Trump. The amended complaint seeks new damages of at least $10 million, based partly on comments made by Trump during a CNN town hall last month.

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Carroll’s lawyers emphasized the remarks made by Trump at the CNN event, including his denial of ever meeting or seeing Carroll and his assertion that her allegations were fabricated.

During the CNN appearance, Trump, who launched his 2024 presidential bid in November, stated, “I never met this woman. I never saw this woman,” while also referring to Carroll’s claims as “fake” and “made up,” according to her lawyers.

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Carroll’s attorneys argued in the motion for the amended complaint that Trump “doubled down on his prior defamatory statements” during the town hall.

Trump’s legal team had sought to block the delayed defamation suit. Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, expressed disagreement with the allowance for Carroll to amend the complaint, stating, “We maintain that she should not be permitted to retroactively change her legal theory, at the eleventh hour, to avoid the consequences of an adverse finding against her.”

The pending defamation case originated in 2019 when Carroll publicly accused Trump, who was then the president, of raping her in a dressing room at a Bergdorf Goodman department store near his Fifth Avenue residence in New York City in either 1995 or 1996.

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Carroll sued Trump, alleging that he defamed her during his presidency by labeling her claims as a “hoax” and a “con job.”

In a separate case filed by Carroll, a New York jury recently found Trump liable for defamation and for sexually abusing her. However, the jury did not conclude that the evidence demonstrated Trump’s guilt in the rape accusation.

The defamation trial is one among several legal proceedings involving Trump. In October, a $250 million lawsuit filed by the New York attorney general, accusing Trump of attempting to inflate his personal net worth to secure favorable loan agreements, is scheduled to go to trial. Trump has characterized the investigation as a “witch hunt.”

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Additionally, in March, the Manhattan district attorney’s hush-money case, which accuses Trump of falsifying business records related to hush-money payments made to two women before the 2016 election, is set to go to trial. Trump has pleaded not guilty in that case.