(TargetLiberty.org) – During the defamation trial brought by columnist E. Jean Carroll against former President Trump, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan issued a stern warning to Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, for interrupting him. The warning occurred shortly after the day’s session began, just before the jury was brought in. Judge Kaplan cautioned Habba that she was close to being detained, advising her to take her seat immediately.
The dispute arose over a presentation slide Trump’s legal team wished to use, which aimed to argue that Carroll had not demonstrated a direct link between Trump’s denials of sexual assault and the subsequent emotional and reputational damage Carroll claimed to have experienced. Habba’s argument centered around a “five-hour gap” between the emergence of Carroll’s allegations in 2019 and Trump’s initial response, which the court had deemed defamatory.
The contested slide contained a series of tweets directed at Carroll before Trump’s response, intended to suggest that any threats received by Carroll could not be directly linked to Trump’s statements. However, Judge Kaplan disallowed the slide’s presentation as the tweets had not been formally submitted as evidence.
Following Kaplan’s decision, Habba attempted to continue her argument, aiming to officially record her stance, which led to Kaplan’s stern rebuke.
Carroll’s lawsuit against Trump pertains to his 2019 denials of sexually assaulting her in the 1990s, for which Trump was previously found liable, resulting in a $5 million award to Carroll. Carroll is now seeking over $24 million in damages related to Trump’s denials.
Trump, who has attended the trial despite not being obliged to, exited the courtroom shortly after Carroll’s attorney commenced closing arguments. The trial has experienced tense moments, including Kaplan threatening to remove Trump for disruption and frequent clashes between Habba and Kaplan, with Trump suggesting Kaplan is biased.
Closing arguments concluded on Friday, with the jury starting deliberations on the compensation owed to Carroll by Trump in the afternoon.
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