Andrew Harnik Associated Press Donald Trump's appearance on Tuesday will take place the day after his victory in the Iowa caucus.
Diane Desobeau – Agence France-Presse and Charly Triballeau – Agence France-Presse in New York
- United States
The day after his large victory in Iowa, Donald Trump is in New York civil court on Tuesday for a second defamation lawsuit filed by an author who has already had him convicted of sexual assault in the 1990s.
More than ever a favorite in the Republican primaries after easily winning the Midwest state caucus, Donald Trump, 77, announced last week that he would come in person to defend himself in New York against to former American magazine columnist Elle, Elizabeth Jean Carroll, 80 years old.
And to try once again to make his legal setbacks a political platform to denounce the “witch hunt” of which he claims to be a victim.
Arriving in his procession of black limousines in snow-covered lower Manhattan — a first in New York in 700 days — Donald Trump sat at the defense table with his lawyers and facing his accuser.
According to the American judicial press which had access to the courtroom, the two protagonists did not exchange a glance.
- Donald Trump found responsible for sexual assault
- Trump once again found responsible for defamation against an author
- Trump wins in Iowa for the launch of the Republican primaries
“I have never seen this woman in my life […] I have no idea who she is,” Donald Trump reaffirmed Thursday about the writer, whom he continued to describe as a liar, or of “crazy”, despite his resounding civil conviction last May to pay him five million dollars for sexual assault in 1996 and defamation in 2022.
The plaintiff's attorney, Roberta Kaplan, wrote to the judge expressing concerns that the Republican would turn the hearing into a “circus” and “seek to sow chaos.”
Targeted by at least six civil and criminal trials, the rich businessman has transformed each of his indictments or appearances into a political platform, multiplying the virulent invectives against the judges, the prosecutors and the Democratic camp of President Joe Biden whom he accuses. to want to prevent him from winning the November presidential election.
“It’s not me they’re aiming for. It’s you,” he proclaims in capital letters on his website, addressed to his supporters.
Tuesday's trial begins with civil jury selection and is expected to last several days.
It’s a kind of act 2.
On May 9, 2023, 12 jurors in the same Manhattan federal civil court unanimously decided that Donald Trump was responsible for a “sexual assault” on Jean Carroll in 1996 in a fitting room of a New York department store, and that he had also defamed her in October 2022.
The jurors sentenced Donald Trump, who appealed and was never criminally prosecuted in this case, to five million dollars in damages.
But Ms. Carroll had also filed a defamation complaint for previous statements by Donald Trump, in June 2019, in the wake of his first accusations of rape contained in a book.
Then President of the United States, he claimed that the author, who was “not his type”, had invented everything to “sell a new book”. The proceedings had been delayed by procedural battles, but a second trial was still scheduled.
A sign of the tensions surrounding the Donald Trump trials, Judge Lewis Kaplan (who is not related to lawyer Roberta Kaplan) imposed anonymity on the jurors. He also warned “that the only issue at stake at trial will be the harm caused to Ms. Carroll by the comments” which he already considers “defamatory”, “false”, and “malicious”.
E. Jean Carroll is seeking at least ten million dollars in damages for her moral and professional harm.
In the middle of the primary campaign, the trial will once again raise the question of the behavior towards women of Donald Trump, accused several times of sexual assault, but never criminally convicted.