A federal judge has set a date for a second defamation trial brought by E Jean Carroll, the New York writer who last month won a $5m jury verdict against Donald Trump for sexual abuse and defamation.
US district judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan said the civil trial, in which Carroll is seeking at least $10m in damages, will begin on 15 January 2024, “unless this case has previously been entirely disposed of”.
The timetable raises the prospect that Trump might have to defend himself in three trials early next year as he seeks the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, a contest in which he is now the frontrunner.
Trump has been criminally charged by federal prosecutors in Florida with mishandling classified documents, and by Manhattan’s district attorney with covering up hush-money payments to an adult film star. He has pleaded not guilty in both cases.
US district judge Aileen Cannon, who is presiding over Trump’s Florida criminal case, also today issued her first order since the former president’s arraignment earlier this week. Cannon ordered defense attorneys to contact the justice department to expedite the process of obtaining security clearances, suggesting she is interested in moving the proceedings along without delay.
Carroll’s lawyer Roberta Kaplan, who is not related to the judge, said her client looks forward to moving expeditiously on her claims.
A lawyer and a spokesperson for Trump did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Carroll claims that Trump defamed her in June 2019 when he denied having raped her in the mid-1990s in a Bergdorf Goodman department store dressing room in Manhattan, and said she was not his “type”.
Last month, a Manhattan jury ordered Trump to pay Carroll $5m for defamation and sexual abuse in a separate lawsuit, after he made a similar denial in October 2022.
On Tuesday, Judge Kaplan allowed Carroll to amend her lawsuit over Trump’s 2019 comments to include similar comments he made recently on CNN.
In a town hall the day after the $5m verdict, Trump called Carroll’s account “fake” and labeled her a “whack job”.
Reuters contributed reporting
Léonie Chao-Fong and agencies
Published: 2023-06-16 01:35:08