Trump's Brief Stand in Defamation Trial: Protecting Himself, Family, and Presidency

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  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 01/26/2024
Donald Trump finally appeared in court for the damages trial resulting from a defamation case filed by E. Jean Carroll. Surprisingly, his time on the stand was incredibly brief. According to the Washington Post, when asked by his attorney Alina Habba if he had ever instructed anyone to harm Carroll, Trump responded by stating that he simply wanted to protect himself, his family, and the presidency. 

When Habba questioned him about his previous statement denying Carroll's allegations that Trump raped her decades ago, he confidently affirmed, "Absolutely, yes," according to the New York Times.

"She made a statement that I believed to be a false accusation—completely untrue," Trump remarked. However, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan promptly removed that remark from the official record and instructed the jury to disregard it, as reported by CNN. Prior to testifying, the judge cautioned Habba about the importance of staying focused on the damages proceedings and refraining from making any extraneous comments. 

From his seat at the defense table, Trump adamantly denied ever meeting the woman, which drew a rebuke from the judge, according to NBC News. "Interrupting the proceedings while your counsel is speaking is not permitted," Kaplan stated.

After Trump's brief testimony, the defense concluded their case and closing arguments were scheduled for Friday morning. As Trump exited the courtroom, he repeatedly expressed his belief that the situation was not representative of the values he associated with America. 

Carroll is requesting a minimum of $10 million in damages. (Carroll has already secured a civil verdict regarding the assault and defamation claims, and the current trial is centered around determining the amount of damages owed to her by Trump.)


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