During E. Jean Carroll’s testimony in the trial where former President Donald Trump is facing a defamation suit, MSNBC reporter Rehema Ellis provided insights into the courtroom dynamics. Carroll previously accused Trump of sexual abuse, and last year, a jury found Trump liable for defamation but did not establish evidence of rape. Trump is appealing the $5 million damages awarded to Carroll, and the current trial focuses on determining additional damages for defamation.
Ellis described an atmosphere of tension during Carroll’s testimony, with Trump allegedly expressing anger and disputing Carroll’s statements. Despite the judge’s instruction for both sides to avoid making remarks within earshot of the jury, Trump was reportedly heard saying that Carroll’s statements were false. At one point, Trump supposedly slammed the table in frustration, and when Judge Kaplan directed his attorney, Alina Habba, to “sit down,” Trump was heard calling the judge a “nasty guy.”
After a break, the judge, concerned about the potential impact on the jury, requested Trump to lower his voice. In another instance, when Habba was discussing her planned questions for Carroll, the judge asserted his authority, stating that lawyers do not dictate questions in his courtroom.
The courtroom exchanges highlight the intense and contentious nature of the trial, with Trump’s visible reactions and interactions with the judge and attorneys becoming a notable aspect. The trial is unfolding as a high-stakes legal battle, further illustrating the complex dynamics between Trump, Carroll, and the legal system.
One of the things the judge said early on was that he didn’t want either side in this proceeding to make any remarks heard within earshot of the jury. And yet…while E. Jean Carroll is on the stand in direct examination, and during her statements, Trump could be heard saying Carroll’s statements are false. “Now, she seems to have gotten her memory back.” At one point, Trump even slammed the table in anger, and when Judge Kaplan told his attorney, Alina Habba, to “sit down,” Trump was heard saying, “nasty guy.”
So when they went on break, after the break, the judge, before the jury was brought into the courtroom, the judge said, “I’m going to ask Mr. Trump to take special care to keep his voice down so that the jury does not overhear him.” In another instance where it was between the judge and Trump’s defense attorney, she was saying something about what she was going to be asking E. Jean Carroll once they came back and it was her turn for cross-examination. Judge Kaplan said, “Lawyers don’t tell me what they’ll be asking, I make the rulings here. Sit down.” This has been going on and on like that.