In a defamation action, a Manhattan jury has mandated that former President Trump must pay an astounding sum of $83.3 million to E. Jean Carroll. The ruling delivered on Friday afternoon, which greatly impacts Trump, has provoked a strong and passionate reaction. He resorted to his social media platform to vehemently express his dissatisfaction and announce his plan to appeal.
Carroll, a previous journalist for a magazine, initiated the legal action subsequent to her accusations in 2019 that Trump had sexually assaulted her in a changing room of a department shop during the mid-1990s. Trump has consistently refuted these allegations. Trump responded promptly and without hesitation on Truth Social.
He characterized the jury’s judgment as “absolutely ridiculous,” condemning it as a component of a “Biden Directed Witch Hunt” targeting both him and the Republican Party. Trump vehemently criticized what he interpreted as a politically driven misuse of the legal system, asserting that it had eroded essential First Amendment rights.
“Absolutely ridiculous! I fully disagree with both verdicts, and will be appealing this whole Biden Directed Witch Hunt focused on me and the Republican Party. Our Legal System is out of control, and being used as a Political Weapon. They have taken away all First Amendment Rights. THIS IS NOT AMERICA!” Trump posted.
“The jury, comprised of nine members, also awarded $65 million in punitive damages, recognizing that Trump’s continued criticisms of Carroll, both during and after his presidency, were “malicious” in nature,” according to Trending Politics News.
The verdict came after a compelling argument by Carroll’s legal team, which focused on Trump’s sustained remarks about her. These remarks, they argued, were not only defamatory but also part of a larger pattern of behavior by Trump towards women who have accused him of misconduct.
His pledge to appeal signals a continuation of the legal saga. Legal experts anticipate a complex appeals process, given the high-profile nature of the case and the substantial punitive damages awarded.
Look at this guy who just broke into the country and immediately has a problem with authority. This isn't going to end well… for us. I filmed tens of thousands just like him coming through in Arizona during my 7 weeks camped in Lukeville. pic.twitter.com/JCvVx0dDZB
— Just Jeff From Cali (@liberty_clarion) January 27, 2024
The verdict was announced following heated final arguments during which Trump abruptly left the courtroom. He did come back for the closing arguments presented by his lawyer but exited the courthouse at 4 p.m.(EST), prior to the jury announcing their decision.
Judge Lewis Kaplan informed the jurors that they were no longer bound by his directive to keep their identities confidential.
Nevertheless, he cautioned, “my advice to you is that you never disclose you were on this jury.”
Carroll’s lawyers were observed displaying visible signs of joy, embracing her and one another, while others wiped away tears. Upon the announcement of the $65 million amount in the media’s room, the reporters reacted with an unmistakable gasp. Carroll emerged from the courts accompanied by her lawyers, displaying a wide smile for the photographers.
“Carroll announced she was suing Trump back in June of 2023. The jury’s role was solely to decide the amount of damages to be awarded to her. The trial began on January 16, with Trump being the last witness to testify in the case. His testimony lasted for less than five minutes,” TPN added.
Carroll was seeking upwards of $12 million in damages related to alleged actions and statements made by Trump which a jury earlier found to qualify as defamation. During the closing arguments, Judge Kaplan ordered both sides to drop objections and remain totally silent.
“There are to be no interruptions by anybody, no audible comments by anybody else,” stated Kaplan as reported by CNN. “And when I charge the jury later — that rule applies to everyone in the courtroom, including counsel.” Alina Habba, lead attorney for Trump, attempted to record an objection at which point Kaplan replied, “You are on the verge of spending some time in the lock-up, now sit down.”
In better news for Trump, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis was earlier removed from a case relating to the 2020 election in Georgia by a judge, citing her partisanship.
The emergence of this event aligns with the increasing attention directed towards Willis, prompted by recent disclosures in a court document. These disclosures revealed her intimate involvement with Nathan Wade, a special prosecutor whom she engaged to aid her in the case against former President Donald Trump. Willis campaigned on going after Trump and charging him.
According to NBC News, Judge Robert McBurney barred Willis from pursuing a legal lawsuit against GA state Sen. Burt Jones, who was running for lt. governor back then. The decision was made in response to Willis’ organization of a fundraising event for Charlie Bailey, the Democrat candidate for the position, amid Bailey’s runoff campaign.
McBurney’s verdict deemed Willis’ participation in the event as “detrimental” to the investigation of Jones, who allegedly collaborated with other GA Republicans in an effort to invalidate the outcome of the 2020 elections by employing an alternative group of electors.
According to NBC, McBurney expressed that Willis’ participation would raise “entirely reasonable concerns of politically motivated persecution.”
“Any decision the district attorney makes about Senator Jones in connection with the grand jury investigation is necessarily infected by it,” McBurney declared in his ruling.