(NEW YORK) — Former President Donald Trump is on trial this week in New York City to determine whether he will have to pay former Elle magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll additional damages for defaming her in 2019 when he denied her allegations of sexual abuse.
Last year, in a separate trial, a jury determined that Trump was liable for sexually abusing Carroll in the dressing room of a Manhattan department store in the 1990s, and that he defamed her in a 2022 social media post by calling her allegations “a Hoax and a lie” and saying “This woman is not my type!”
Trump has denied all wrongdoing and has said he doesn’t know who Carroll is.
Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:
Jan 25, 2:48 PM
‘This is not America,’ Trump mutters as he leaves court
“Not America,” Donald Trump muttered as he exited the courtroom following his testimony.
“It’s not America. This is not America,” he repeated, his voice rising as he slowly walked toward the courtroom exit.
Court is adjourned until 3:30 p.m. ET, at which point attorneys will conference with the judge.
Closing arguments are currently scheduled for tomorrow.
Jan 25, 2:33 PM
Trump testifies he denied allegations to defend himself
“Do you stand by your testimony in your deposition?” Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, asked Trump on the witness stand.
“100% yes,” Trump responded.
“Did you deny the allegation to defend yourself?” Habba asked. “Yes I did, that’s exactly right,” Trump responded.
“Mr. President, did you ever instruct anyone to hurt Ms. Carroll?”
“No, I just wanted to defend myself, my family and frankly the presidency,” Trump answered.
The judge struck everything after the word “no.”
On cross-examination Carroll’s attorney Roberta Kaplan asked whether this is the first trial with Carroll that Trump has attended. He said yes.
On redirect, Trump affirmed he was represented by counsel.
Trump then stepped down from the stand, his testimony over after all of three minutes.
Jan 25, 2:26 PM
Judge provides instructions on scope of testimony
Prior to Trump taking the witness stand, Judge Lewis Kaplan reminded the parties, outside the jury’s presence, that a prior trial found “Mr. Trump in fact sexually abused Ms. Carroll by forcibly and without consent inserting his fingers into her vagina” and that “Ms. Carroll did not make up her claim of forcible sexual abuse.”
Kaplan said the prior trial also established Trump’s statements of denial were defamatory and that Trump “knew they were false, had serious doubts as to the truth of what he said or made those statements with a high degree of awareness that they were probably false.”
The judge reminded the defense that Trump cannot make any argument “disputing or undermining those determinations.” He said “there is cause for concern” that Trump’s testimony might contain inadmissible evidence.
“I want to know everything he is going to say,” Kaplan told defense attorney Alina Habba.
“That he stands by his deposition,” Habba responded. “He is going to say that he did not make the statements to hurt Ms. Carroll.”
Habba said Trump will also say that he had to respond to the allegation and did not instruct anyone to disparage Carroll.
Carroll’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan, complained that while Habba was giving her proffer, “Mr. Trump said under his breath that he never met her and had never seen her before.”
Kaplan said the jury would be instructed that, regardless of what Trump says on the witness stand, “he did it.”
Trump was overheard saying he was not at the first trial and that he does not “know this woman” as Habba tried to affirm Trump understood the confines of his testimony.
“So he will comply with the rulings?” Kaplan asked. “That is my understanding,” Habba replied.
The judge has limited the examination to three questions: Does he stand by the deposition? Did he deny the allegation because an accusation had been made? And did he instruct anyone to hurt Carroll?
Jan 25, 2:19 PM
Trump takes the stand
“Defense calls President Donald Trump,” attorney Alina Habba said as Trump took the stand in his own defense.
Jan 25, 1:56 PM
Trump, observing proceedings, is more subdued than last week
With the morning session completed, a more subdued Donald Trump has been in the courtroom today.
Unlike when Trump attended the trial last week, there have been no outbursts from Trump and no sparring with the judge. There are hardly any of the audible comments or hand gesturing that was observed earlier.
Instead, Trump has sat calmly and listened to the testimony, occasionally conferring quietly with his attorneys. When a video was played of him from just a few days ago repeating the claim that he “didn’t know” E. Jean Carroll, he nodded along with the video and silently mouthed the words “true.”
In fact, the only real disturbance today came when a cell phone — which Judge Kaplan strictly prohibits in the courtroom — rang in the galley.
“Whose telephone was that?” the judge asked. “Take that man out of here.”
It turned out to be Trump campaign spokesperson Stephen Cheung– who was removed from the courtroom by security.
Trump may take the witness stand when the proceedings resume after a break.
Jan 25, 1:31 PM
Carroll’s friend testifies she was ‘very concerned’ for her
On cross-examination by Carroll’s attorney Shawn Crowley, former television newswoman Carol Martin explained the safety concerns she said she had due to her association with E. Jean Carroll and her lawsuit against Donald Trump.
“I am a huge consumer of news and I keep up with everything that I can, as it happens, and the climate in the country felt dangerous to me,” said Martin, a longtime friend of Carroll’s. “Mr. Trump was saying he didn’t lose the election and I was very concerned that my friend was right in the middle of a lawsuit like this one.”
She also testified her comments about Carroll’s “narcissism” and “lifestyle” were made out of concern that Carroll might lose at trial. Martin testified that when she called Carroll a “drug addict,” she meant she was very passionate.
“I used the word drug addict. Bad word to use,” Martin said.
“Are you suspicious of her motives?” asked Crowley.
“I am not suspicious of her motives,” Martin replied.
Jan 25, 12:53 PM
Carroll has at times ‘enjoyed the attention,’ friend testifies
Former television newswoman Carol Martin, testifying as a hostile witness for the defense, said that her longtime friend E. Jean Carroll “has an admirable reputation in the workplace.”
Martin testified that she did, “on some levels,” have concern for her safety and her daughter’s safety after Carroll went public in 2019 with her sexual assault accusation against Donald Trump. Martin was among the friends Carroll had told about the assault.
“As I saw the popularity of that article, my daughter became more concerned,” Martin said of the 2019 New York magazine story in which Carroll made the accusation.
“Ms. Carroll assured you she didn’t have security concerns?” defense attorney Alina Habba asked. “That was her opinion,” Martin said. “Jeanie didn’t want us to worry.”
Habba has argued that the harm Carroll said she suffered as a result of Trump’s defamatory statements is overblown.
“Did you think Ms. Carroll enjoyed the attention?” Habba asked. “At points, in early years,” Martin responded. She also affirmed she had texted a friend that Carroll’s “narcissism had run amok.”
Martin testified that “at some point” she became frustrated with what Habba described as Carroll’s “celebratory behavior” in connection with her lawsuits against Trump. “It’s a difference in our personalities, but we work around it,” Martin said.
At one point Martin said she felt Carroll was “loving the adulation.”
“Do you believe Ms. Carroll is enjoying this fame to some extent?” Habba asked. “I think she is adapting to this phase in her life. Enjoying is a multifaceted word,” Martin said, ending her direct examination.
Jan 25, 11:50 AM
Judge denies defense’s motion for directed verdict
The defense’s motion for a directed verdict, made after Carroll’s attorneys rested their case, asked the judge to end the trial due to a lack of evidence.
“Ms. Carroll has failed to establish any causal link between her claim for damages and President Trump’s statement,” defense attorney Alina Habba said. “On causation alone, she has not proven her facts.”
Habba argued, as she did in her opening statement, that people were disparaging Carroll prior to Trump issuing his defamatory denials. She also argued Carroll could not prove she received death threats at the time because she deleted messages that contained them, prompting an interjection from the judge.
“Your theory here is that she should be punished because, before there was litigation, she deleted tweets that could be helpful to her?” Judge Lewis Kaplan asked. “That’s not my argument,” Habba replied. “Sounds like it,” the judge said.
Carroll’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan, argued that she had met her burden.
“We believe there is more than ample evidence, causation, here to allow the case to go to the jury,” Roberta Kaplan said.
The judge denied the defense’s motion. Next up will be the defense’s first witness.
Jan 25, 11:31 AM
Carroll rests her case, defense seeks directed verdict
Following concluding statements, E. Jean Carroll’s attorneys have rested their case.
They will now give way to Trump’s attorneys to present the defense’s case.
The defense, meanwhile, has asked the judge for a directed verdict to halt the proceedings and decide the case in their favor.
Jan 25, 11:12 AM
Carroll’s attorneys highlight clips from Trump’s 2022 deposition
E. Jean Carroll’s attorneys ended their defamation case against former President Trump by showing the jury some of Trump’s social media posts and soundbites from his campaign rallies in which he repeats the defamatory statements he has made about her.
The jury also saw a portion of Trump’s videotaped deposition for Carroll’s case that he sat for in October 2022, in which Trump was given a copy of the 2019 New York magazine article that first published Carroll’s sexual assault allegation.
“Did you ever read this article?” plaintiff’s attorney Roberta Kaplan asked in the deposition. “No,” Trump responded.
Kaplan, in the deposition, also read Trump’s defamatory response to the article and asked, “Do you stand by the statement?” Trump responded, “Yes.”
The jury also heard Trump in the deposition affirm that he stood by a June 24, 2019, statement in which he said Carroll was “not my type.”
“You meant she was not your type, physically right?” Kaplan asked. “Physically, she’s not my type,” Trump responded. “The only difference between me and other people is that I’m honest.”
The jury also saw the excerpt of the deposition in which Trump was handed an old black-and-white photo of him, his first wife Ivana, Carroll, and her then-husband John Johnson, and temporarily mistook Carroll for his second wife Marla Maples.
After the confusion, Kaplan, in the deposition, asked Trump if the three women he married were his type, and Trump answered, “Yeah.”
Trump, in the deposition, also conceded that he had no information about Carroll’s political party or evidence that she was pursuing a political agenda.
The jury also saw an excerpt of a videotaped deposition Trump gave in April 2023 as part of Trump’s separate civil fraud lawsuit in which Trump boasted about his wealth, and estimated that the value of his Mar-a-Lago resort is $1.5 billion — possibly meant to show the jury that Trump can afford a large damage award.
Jan 25, 10:26 AM
Carroll is a ‘truth teller,’ former editor says
E. Jean Carroll was a “beloved” columnist at Elle magazine, her former editor testified as the final witness in Carroll’s case.
“She was beloved by the readers,” Roberta Myers testified. “I would say she was the most prominent columnist that we had. I thought of her column as a destination. People would often pick up the magazine and go to her column first.”
“She’s a truth-teller,” Myers said of Carroll.
On cross-examination, defense attorney Alina Habba established that Myers is a registered Democrat who did not vote for Trump in either 2016 or 2020.
When Habba asked whether Myers planned to vote for Trump in 2024, Myers answered, “I don’t think I have to say what I plan to do.”
Trump watched Myers’ testimony from his seat at the defense table.
Jan 25, 10:19 AM
Elle magazine editor takes the stand
After a late start, today’s proceedings are underway in former President Trump’s defamation damages trial.
Roberta Myers, the former editor-in-chief of Elle magazine, where E. Jean Carroll was an advice columnist, has taken the stand to testify for Carroll.
Trump is seated at the defense table with his attorneys.
Jan 25, 9:57 AM
Trump is in court
Former President Donald Trump has arrived in court this morning.
The proceedings, which were scheduled to get underway at 9:30 a.m. ET, were off to a late start.
Jan 25, 9:00 AM
Carroll’s attorneys expected to rest their case
If former President Trump takes the stand in his own defense today, it will happen after Carroll’s attorneys rest their case.
Carroll’s lawyers plan to call one final witness: Robbie Myers, the former editor-in-chief of Elle magazine, where Carroll was an advice columnist.
As part of the defense’s case, Trump’s lawyers also plan to call Carol Martin, a friend of Carroll’s who testified in the earlier assault and defamation trial.
Jan 25, 7:53 AM
Trump indicates he’ll attend trial today, could take stand
In a post to his Truth Social platform overnight, former President Trump indicated that he will attend his defamation damages trial today.
“But now I’m heading back to New York City for a trial based on False Accusations, from perhaps decades ago — The woman has no idea when!” Trump wrote.
Carroll has accused Trump of assaulting her around 1996 but can’t pinpoint the year.
In a series of other posts, Trump also disparaged Carroll, said she made up her story, and suggested she was a paid political operative.
If Trump takes the stand today, he would be banned from using any of those defenses based on a pretrial ruling by Judge Lewis Kaplan which determined that — because a jury last year already found Trump liable for sexually abusing Carroll and then defaming her — Trump is barred from arguing that he did not sexually abuse Carroll or that he never met her.
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