Judge denies Trump’s motion for mistrial in E. Jean Carroll defamation case

A federal judge denied Donald Trump’s motions for a mistrial in the defamation case brought by columnist E. Jean Carroll saying the former president’s arguments had no “merit” and are “entirely pointless.”

Judge Lewis Kaplan denied Trump’s motions from the bench during the civil trial and said a written order would follow. In the written order on Wednesday, the judge said granting a request for a mistrial “would have been entirely pointless” because it would only mean that the case would start over.

Trump argued for a mistrial when Carroll admitted she deleted some death threats she received immediately after her allegations against Trump became public in June 2019.

Carroll testified she only first considered suing Trump in mid-July 2019 after meeting lawyer George Conway at a party. The judge said only at that point did Carroll’s duty to preserve electronic information begin.

He also denied Trump’s request for sanctions and criticized Trump’s attorneys for first making the motion for a mistrial in front of the jury during Carroll’s cross-examination when they had known about the deletion of messages for over a year. He said if he were to grant any remedy to Trump, which he was not inclined to do, it would consist of cross-examining Carroll about deleting messages, which his attorneys did at trial.

The jury hearing the case awarded Carroll $83.3 million in damages. The judge has not yet issued a judgement in the case to finalize the verdict.

This story has been updated with additional details.

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