Judge refuses to delay Trump’s $83M judgment in Carroll defamation case

A federal judge on Thursday rejected former President Trump’s request to delay the $83.3 million judgment in advice columnist E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit, refusing to give Trump more time to post a bond with the deadline only a few days away.

The former president and near-certain GOP nominee has mounted efforts to postpone the judgments in both Carroll’s lawsuit and the New York attorney general’s sprawling fraud prosecution, with Trump staring down hundreds of millions in penalties between the two civil cases.

Thursday’s ruling hands a loss to Trump by maintaining default rules that enable enforcement of the judgment in Carroll’s lawsuit as early as next week, effectively making it Trump’s deadline to post a bond.

“Mr. Trump’s current situation is a result of his own dilatory actions,” U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan wrote in his ruling.

A federal jury sitting in New York ordered Trump to pay the eight-figure sum for defaming Carroll by denying her story when she came forward in 2019 to accuse the then-president of sexual assault decades earlier. Last year, a separate jury had found Trump liable for sexually abusing the advice columnist.

Under standard practice, Trump’s lawyers have said Trump’s bond amount would total $91.63 million as he appeals the January verdict.

Trump in recent days has filed motions seeking a new trial in the case or to get the damages reduced. Trump had demanded Kaplan, appointed to the bench by former President Clinton, delay the judgment until 30 days after the judge rules on those motions or alternatively reduce the bond amount to $24.475 million.

Kaplan has not yet ruled on that delay request, but on Thursday, the judge denied Trump’s more recent demand for an administrative stay in the meantime to punt Saturday’s deadline.

“This is a continuation of a totally lawless witch hunt,” Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said in a statement. “President Trump filed a timely motion to stay the ridiculous judgment, and many courts, including the Second Circuit, recognize the importance of temporary administrative stays while such motions are considered. We look forward to continuing to litigate the case and to complete vindication of the truth.”

Carroll’s lawyers opposed the former president’s request to delay the judgment or reduce his bond amount, expressing concerns that Trump wouldn’t actually pay up.

“He simply asks the Court to ‘trust me’ and offers, in a case with an $83.3 million judgment against him, the court filing equivalent of a paper napkin; signed by the least trustworthy of borrowers,” they wrote to the judge.

Trump’s lawyers pushed back, noting that Carroll’s team had highlighted to the jury Trump’s own claims about the size of his wealth, a strategy aimed at upping the total damages.

Carroll’s lawyers were using a “fast-and-loose approach to the facts,” wrote Trump attorneys Alina Habba and D. John Sauer.

Sauer was added as an attorney on the case following the trial. Sauer is also representing Trump as he appeals his presidential immunity defense from his federal election subversion charges, as well as Trump’s appeal of a gag order imposed in that case.

Updated at 6:13 p.m.

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