E Jean Carroll lawyers warn Trump, Ahead of the start of the E Jean Carroll civil trial against Donald Trump, Ms. Carroll’s lawyers have asked the New York City judge handling the case to ban the former president from arguing the facts of the case before the jury.
“If Mr Trump appears at this trial, whether as a witness or otherwise, his recent statements and behavior strongly suggest that he will seek to sow chaos,” Ms Carroll’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan, wrote in a filing on Friday.
E Jean Carroll lawyers warn Trump Wants to ‘Sow Chaos’ Ahead of Court
Ms. Kaplan said Judge Lewis Kaplan, citing Mr. Trump’s detour from closing arguments in his civil fraud trial, that if Mr. Trump was given time to speak freely, he might say “inadmissible, prejudicial, or otherwise improper information”.
The trial, which begins on Tuesday, will establish how much Mr Trump owes Ms Carroll in damages for defaming her in 2019 after she came out with allegations of rape.
It is similar to the second defamation case that went to trial last year, in which a jury found the former president guilty of sexual abuse and defamation after he denied assaulting her in 2022. The jury awarded Ms Carroll $5 million in damages for this.
Despite the jury’s findings, Mr Trump has denied knowing Ms. Carroll, defended himself against claims of sexual abuse and defamation, and said Ms Carroll had ulterior motives for initiating her lawsuit against him.
Even on Thursday, the former president told reporters that he intended to attend the trial to “explain I don’t know who the hell [Ms Carroll] is.”
Judge Kaplan has already warned Mr. Trump’s lawyers that they cannot present legal arguments that contradict the jury’s finding of sexual abuse and defamation; however, Ms. Carroll’s lawyer is requesting that Judge Kaplan go a step further and impose measures to prevent Mr. Trump from presenting challenges to the jury.
The proposal involves asking Mr. Trump to swear under oath in open court, but not in front of the jury, that he understands the facts of the case: he sexually assaulted Ms. Carroll, talked falsely with genuine malice, and lied when accusing her of fabricating her tale.
Ms Kaplan requests that anything Mr Trump may testify about be provided in advance of his testimony.
If he does not comply, Ms. Kaplan said that the court may hold Mr Trump or his counsel in contempt, impose hefty fines, or ban Mr Trump from testifying further.
She told Judge Kaplan that the former president “may well perceive a benefit in seeking to poison these proceedings” although the jury was merely asked to decide the amount of damages.