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Trump demands new E. Jean Carroll trial, citing ‘restrictions’ on testimony

Trump demands new E. Jean Carroll trial, citing ‘restrictions’ on testimony

Former President Trump demanded he receive a new trial after a jury ordered him to pay $83.3 million in advice columnist E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan has previously rejected many of the arguments contained within Trump’s two separate post-trial motions, both filed Tuesday.

In particular, the former president took aim at how Kaplan, an appointee of former President Clinton, heavily restricted what Trump could tell jurors while on the witness stand.

Kaplan imposed the limitations after finding Trump liable for defamation prior to trial because of Carroll’s win in a separate lawsuit last year. January’s trial was limited to the issue of damages.

Trump’s attorneys pointed to an exchange ahead of Trump’s scheduled testimony where the judge asserted he wanted to know “everything (Trump) is going to say.” Kaplan had gone over each question and Trump’s intended responses in meticulous detail before jurors heard from Trump, cutting off the former president at times as he testified. Trump was on the stand for less than five minutes.

“Just before President Trump took the stand at trial, the Court engaged in a colloquy with defense counsel designed to restrict the scope of President Trump’s testimony,” Trump lawyers Alina Habba and John Sauer wrote in Tuesday’s filing.

That exchange, they argue, narrowed the scope of Trump’s testimony to the point of prejudice by preventing him from addressing his mental state in relation to Carroll. On the witness stand, Trump only answered two questions — one of which was objected to, they wrote.

“Did you ever instruct anyone to hurt Ms. Carroll in your statements,” Habba questioned Trump earlier this year during the trial.

“No,” Trump replied. “I just wanted to defend myself, my family, and frankly, the presidency.”

Carroll’s lawyer jumped in with an objection that the judge sustained, ordering the jury to disregard Trump’s remarks beyond “no.”

Carroll’s legal team declined to comment on Trump’s latest filing.

Trump’s lawyers previously objected to the restrictions to no avail but are newly demanding it requires a new trial.

At the trial’s conclusion, a New York jury ordered Trump to pay Carroll $83.3 million for defaming the writer in 2019 after she came forward with accusations Trump sexually assaulted her. On Tuesday, Trump, who denies the accusation, asked the judge to rescind the verdict.

Trump previously asked the judge to delay enforcement of the $83 million judgment — or at least permit a reduced bond amount — in anticipation of his post-trial motions, insisting they will get the amount entirely tossed or heavily reduced.

Under the federal courts’ default rules, efforts to collect the sum from Trump could begin as soon as next week. Carroll opposes Trump’s request for an additional delay.

“A decision will be rendered as promptly as is reasonably possible,” the judge wrote in a brief order Monday. “Without implying what that decision will be or when it will be made, however, it will not come today.”

Trump’s delay request also follows a penalty of more than $454 million, plus interest, against the former president in his civil fraud case. The judge in that case determined Trump and top executives at the Trump Organization were liable for fraud and conspired to alter the former president’s net worth for tax and insurance benefits. Each day the judgement goes unpaid, it increases more than $111,000 in interest.

Estimators including Forbes and Bloomberg have placed Trump’s net worth between $2.6 billion and $3.1 billion, but it’s unclear whether Trump has the cash on hand to pay the full judgements.

He recently told a New York court that the “exorbitant and punitive” amount of the fraud judgment would be “impossible” to secure for a bond while he appeals the matter.

Between the fraud judgement and the verdict in Carroll’s case, Trump must cough up a combined $547 million to date — and growing — to continue his appeals of the cases.

Updated at 2:59 p.m. ET

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