In addition to four criminal indictments, Donald Trump is facing a number of legal cases, including writer E. Jean Carroll’s second defamation complaint against the former president and GOP presidential frontrunner in 2024.
On Tuesday, October 9, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan issued a 27-page order in the case. In an article published the next day, Jose Pagliery of the Daily Beast evaluates the judge’s words and actions.
According to Pagliery, Kaplan’s decision makes it quite clear that once the trial begins, Trump’s case will only worsen.
“With Donald Trump’s second rape defamation trial only one week away,” Pagliery writes, “a federal judge has rewarded the billionaire’s never-ending legal insolence and delusional defense strategy with a brutal order laying out just how punishing the court battle will be.” Until recently, the former president’s lawyers had been preparing for the upcoming defamation trial as if the first one had never happened, seeing it as an opportunity to rewrite history and clear Trump’s name after a jury last year found him guilty of sexually assaulting journalist E. Jean Carroll decades ago.”
Kaplan ruled that the material facts regarding the alleged sexual assault against Carroll had already been determined, and this trial would not serve as a repetition of the previous trial.
According to the Daily Beast, Kaplan “reiterated that the jury will merely be deciding how badly to reprimand Trump for dragging Carroll’s name through the mud.” According to Pagliery, the judge’s decision “clarified that Trump will have the obligation—but not the right—to remain silent about nearly everything the billionaire intended to say in court.”
“This new jury will see the most damning evidence of Trump’s misogyny, from the ‘Access Hollywood’ tape in which he gloats about how he can ‘grab them by the pussy’ to the videotaped deposition where he remarks that stars get away with sexual assault ‘unfortunately—or fortunately,” Pagliery said. “The previous iteration of this case dealt with the defamatory denials Trump made after leaving office, a trial that cost him $5 million in damages, which he apparently paid.”
“The second defamation trial, which begins next week, deals with Trump’s denials as U.S. president, with all the additional attention and gravitas his former position of power bestowed upon him at the time he made those comments,” Pagliery writes. The court said that Trump couldn’t even claim he didn’t believe Carroll was telling the truth about their encounter in the 1990s. That means Trump’s huge promises about finally speaking up and testifying at this trial — after notably ghosting the first one — may be nothing more than grandstanding. The calculus has shifted, and Trump may have much more to lose by appearing now that he’ll be virtually wearing a courtroom muzzle.”