According to APNews, in a pending defamation lawsuit against former President Donald Trump, his lawyers argued before Judge Lewis A. Kaplan that the plaintiff, writer E. Jean Carroll, cannot win the case because the jury already agreed with Trump that he did not rape her. The lawsuit was initiated by Carroll after she publicly stated in a 2019 memoir that Trump sexually assaulted her in the mid-1990s.
After a recent jury verdict that concluded Trump sexually abused Carroll but did not rape her, Carroll’s lawyers sought to amend the original lawsuit to seek higher damages and add defamation claims based on comments made by Trump following the verdict. Trump’s lawyers countered that the jury’s decision aligns with their position that Trump did not defame Carroll by denying the rape accusation, and they argued for the rejection of Carroll’s bid for a second judgment.
The lawsuit has faced delays due to the U.S. Justice Department’s request to substitute the United States as the defendant in place of Trump, claiming that he was acting in his capacity as president when he made statements regarding the issue.
Carroll’s lawyers, on the other hand, contended that the jury’s verdict supported the claims in the ongoing lawsuit. They emphasized that the jury unanimously believed Carroll’s testimony about Trump sexually abusing her and concluded that Trump knowingly lied when he denied the incident.
Judge Kaplan now has the task of deciding whether to accept the amendments to the defamation claim and determine if the United States can be substituted as the defendant. The ultimate outcome of the case will depend on these decisions and the subsequent legal proceedings.
“A unanimous jury found that Donald Trump inserted his fingers into E. Jean Carroll’s vagina against her will and then defamed her when he said that he did not know who E. Jean Carroll was, that he had never met her at Bergdorf Goodman, and that she had made the whole story up as part of a ‘con job’ or ‘hoax,’” Kaplan said.
“Contrary to Donald Trump’s latest arguments, the jury’s verdict makes complete sense — because the jury believed E. Jean Carroll when she testified that Trump had sexually abused her, it concluded that Trump knowingly lied about Ms. Carroll when he later claimed otherwise,” she added.