A federal judge has denied Donald Trump’s motion for a mistrial in E Jean Carroll’s defamation case against him.
Mr Trump lost the case and was ordered to pay $83m last month after Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled he had defamed the writer after she publicly accused him of sexual assault.
Attorneys for the former president called for a mistrial, arguing that death threats Ms Carroll deleted constituted the destruction of evidence.
But in a court filing on Wednesday, Mr Kaplan rejected the motion, saying it had been a fair trial and to allow a mistrial would be “entirely pointless.”
"The Court gave an appropriate instruction on the subject. And the jury rendered its verdict," the judge wrote. "A mistrial at this point would be a bootless exercise."
Ms Carroll first went public with her allegations in 2019, saying Mr Trump had raped her in a department store dressing room in the mid-1990s. Mr Trump denied this, claiming he had "never met that person in my life,” and told The Hill “she’s not my type,” suggesting she wasn’t attractive enough for the incident to have occurred.
After she came forward, Ms Carroll received threatening messages, including death threats, she said in her testimony. Many of them she deleted, she said, in an effort to “get control of the situation” and “get rid of that horrible feeling.”
During the trial, an attorney for Mr Trump called for a mistrial, saying Ms Carroll had “admitted to deleting evidence,” but the motion was denied and the jury was instructed to disregard the comment.
The defence team’s latest call for a mistrial was not rooted in any new evidence, the judge said, and was therefore without merit.
“He cites no new or controlling cases on the law of mistrial, let alone any that the Court has overlooked,” Mr Kaplan wrote. “He has demonstrated no clear error.”
In fact, the judge stated, Ms Carroll’s deletion of threats would have done nothing to boost her case and may have even given Mr Trump an advantage.
“With fewer examples to show, Ms. Carroll’s case for damages was weakened, and Mr. Trump benefitted as a result,” Mr Kaplan wrote.