Judge Dismisses Donald Trump’s Countersuit In E. Jean Carroll Case

A federal judge tossed out Donald Trump’s counterclaim against E. Jean Carroll, the writer who won a $5 million jury verdict earlier this year after it found the former president liable for sexual abuse and defamation.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled that Trump had not shown that Carroll defamed him in the aftermath of the verdict. In a defamation claim, Trump challenged Carroll’s post-verdict contention that he raped her.

The jury in the case found that Trump sexually abused her, but did not find that he raped her as defined by New York law. In an interview on CNN the day after the verdict, Carroll was asked what went through her mind when “this jury found that Trump did not rape you.” Carroll said that she thought, ‘Oh yes, he did. Oh, yes, he did.’ See, that’s my response.”

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Trump claimed that Carroll defamed him by disregarding “the jury’s finding that he did not rape her.”

But in his opinion (read it here), Kaplan wrote that the jury’s verdict “were entirely extraneous given the sexual abuse finding.” He also concluded that her statements were “substantially true.”

Kaplan wrote that “there is no merit to Mr Trump’s argument that the jury’s finding on Penal Law ‘rape’ question established that Ms Carroll’s statements were false even if her statements reasonably could be construed as referring to ‘rape’ in that specialized Penal Law sense, a subject on which this Court now expresses no view.”

Trump is scheduled to go to trial in January on another portion of Carroll’s case, over statements that he made about her when he was president. Trump has denied the allegations and has claimed that Carroll made up the alleged attack in a Bergdorf’s dressing room, most likely in 1996. In the aftermath of the May verdict, Carroll has added additional allegations to her case, including statements that Trump made at a CNN town hall denying that he knows her.

Trump is appealing the first jury verdict.

Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but told CNN, “We strongly disagree with the flawed decision and will be filing an appeal shortly.”

The Carroll case is just one of a number of trials that Trump is runs for reelection. On Thursday, he pleaded not guilty to found federal criminal conspiracy charges related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

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