After Defamation Trial Delayed, Trump Attacks Accuser Online

Trump posts more than 40 times about E. Jean Carroll
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 22, 2024 1:07 PM CST
Juror Illness Halts Trump Sex Abuse Defamation Trial
Donald Trump leaves his apartment building in New York, Monday, Jan. 22, 2024.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

With Donald Trump soon to take the witness stand, a juror's illness forced a last-minute delay Monday of a defamation trial over his comments about E. Jean Carroll, the writer who claims he sexually assaulted her in the 1990s. It's not yet clear when the trial will resume. The court is awaiting COVID-19 tests on all the jurors; one of Trump's lawyers also hasn't been feeling well but tested negative, and his team wants to postpone the Republican presidential front-runner's next appearance until after Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, the AP reports. Forbes reports that Trump attacked Carroll in more than 40 posts on Truth Social Monday morning after the trial was delayed, asserting the assault "did not happen."

In regard to the illness, US District Judge Lewis Kaplan announced that one of nine jurors was told to go home and take a coronavirus test after he reported feeling ill. Trump attorney Alina Habba also reported that at least one of her parents has COVID-19 and that she ran a fever in the last two days after having dinner with them several days ago. She and law partner Michael Madaio both tested negative for the virus Monday, the judge said. There was no indication that Trump himself isn't feeling well, and he didn't wear a mask in court as he watched Monday's brief proceeding.

Whenever it may happen, Trump's testimony stands to allow him—within limits that he might well test—to explain to a jury why he not only denied Carroll's claims but branded her a liar who faked a sexual attack to sell a memoir. Because a different jury found last year that Trump sexually abused Carroll, Kaplan has ruled that if the former president takes the stand now, he won't be allowed to say she concocted her allegation or that she was motivated by financial or political considerations. Her lawyers have implored the judge to make Trump swear, before any testimony, that he understands and accepts the court's restrictions on what he can say. Trump is expected to travel after Monday's court session to an evening campaign event in New Hampshire.

(More E. Jean Carroll stories.)

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