Judge Rules Trump Has to Come Up With $91 Million for E. Jean Carroll Appeal

Marco Bello/Reuters
Marco Bello/Reuters

A federal judge on Thursday denied Donald Trump’s last-minute plea for extra time to front a massive sum of money to appeal his rape defamation trial, forcing the tycoon to suddenly come up with $91 million.

On Thursday afternoon, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan told the former president that he was in a mess of his own making—after losing a trial that found him directly responsible for lying about sexually abusing the journalist E. Jean Carroll, ordered to pay an $83 million verdict, and waiting until the very last second to come up with a backup plan.

Kaplan is the same judge who watched Trump refuse to get his DNA tested to see if it was on Carroll’s dress (then complain about it after it was too late), completely ghost his first rape trial (then claim the trial was unfair), and repeatedly engage in angry outbursts in the courtroom to the point that he had to be ordered to calm down (only to fume even more about it).

“Mr. Trump’s current situation is a result of his own dilatory actions,” Kaplan wrote.

The judge then noted that Trump had essentially run out the clock all on his own, burning through nearly all of the 30 days he had until the $83 million judgment came due—and not even lining up the higher sum he’d need to pay to appeal the judgment. Instead, Trump defense lawyer Alina Habba waited until last weekend to propose an unorthodox alternative: a lowball offer to front a quarter of the money instead.

On Thursday, it was clear that Kaplan was out of patience—and Trump is out of time.

“He has had since January 26 to organize his finances with the knowledge that he might need to bond this judgment, yet waited until 25 days after the jury verdict—and only shortly before the expiration of [the] automatic 30-day stay of the judgment—to file his prior motion for an unsecured or partially secured stay,” the judge wrote.

Trump also failed to convince the judge that he’d suffer “irreparable injury” by finding himself in a financial nightmare and sky high legal costs. Now Trump has mere days to line up a lender willing to front the cash to appeal the case—the very same position he now finds himself in an entirely different $464 million judgment from the New York Attorney General.

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