Judge Denies Midtrial Mistrial Request in E. Jean Carroll Defamation Case Against Donald Trump

In a recent development in the defamation case brought by writer E. Jean Carroll against former President Donald Trump, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan swiftly denied attorney Alina Habba’s midtrial mistrial request. The request was made during Carroll’s testimony, where she mentioned deleting death threats she received after publicly accusing Trump of rape. Habba argued that Carroll’s admission constituted the destruction of evidence that should have been preserved for trial.

Judge Kaplan, in a written opinion, stated that the mistrial request made no sense, as Habba had been aware of Carroll’s deletion of certain emails for over a year. Granting a mistrial would have been pointless, according to the judge. Furthermore, the questioning by both Habba and Carroll’s lawyers failed to clarify what exactly was deleted and for how long. The judge criticized their confusing line of questioning, leaving the record on the subject unclear. Additionally, Habba did not take any steps to recover the deleted materials or determine their nature.

The $83.3 million jury award, which included $65 million in punitive damages, was given two weeks ago in response to Trump’s statements denying any sexual assault and claiming Carroll fabricated her claims for personal gain and political motives. Habba has vowed to appeal the decision, expressing dissatisfaction with the jury’s verdict and suggesting that the trial took place in a jurisdiction known for favorable outcomes against Trump.

The jury’s award followed a previous $5 million verdict from a Manhattan federal court jury last May, which concluded that Trump had defamed Carroll after sexually assaulting her in a luxury department store dressing room in 1996. Although the jury did not find in favor of Carroll’s rape claim, Judge Kaplan later noted that the jury’s findings would be considered rape in other jurisdictions.

Judge Kaplan acknowledged that the inability to present the death threats to the jury may have weakened Carroll’s case for damages, benefiting Trump. He suggested that Carroll herself may have been harmed by this limitation.

Trump, who briefly testified during the trial, had his testimony restricted due to the judge’s instruction to accept the previous jury’s findings regarding sexual assault and defamation as true. Trump did not attend the first trial.

Attorney Alina Habba did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

 

CrimeDoor
Author: CrimeDoor

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