E. Jean Carroll’s Lawyer Pounces on Donald Trump Attack

A recent Donald Trump press conference in which he again attacked writer E. Jean Carroll is being used against him in court.

During the press conference, Trump accused Carroll of telling a “made up, fabricated story” of sexual assault, according to a court filing on Saturday, January 20 by Carroll’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan.

Kaplan wants Trump’s comments shown to the jury before they decide how much Trump must pay Carroll in damages for his previous comments that she was inventing her sexual assault claims.

The civil trial in New York is separate to the sexual battery and defamation lawsuit that Carroll previously won against Trump. In May 2023, a different jury ruled Trump was liable for sexually abusing Carroll at a department store and then defaming her character while denying the assault took place. Trump was ordered to pay Carroll $5 million in damages.

trump carroll case
Donald Trump is seen at a press conference in New York City on January 17, 2024, after leaving the second day of his defamation trial involving E. Jean Carroll. Carroll’s lawyers want Trump’s comments from the press conference included in the case.
Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Carroll is seeking $10 million damages in this defamation suit, which focuses on Trump’s statements made in 2019 denying the assault, including that Carroll made up the attack to sell copies of her book. Trump is arguing that the remarks he gave while president denying the assault took place are protected under absolute immunity as they fell under the scope of his official duties. Newsweek sought email comment from Trump’s attorney on Sunday.

A court has already found that Trump did defame her in those 2019 comments and a jury is now deciding on the amount Trump will have to pay Carroll.

In Saturday’s court filing, Kaplan informed the court of a press conference Trump held on January 17 in which he again attacked Carroll’s character.

“After leaving the courthouse on January 17, Defendant gave a press conference in which he, among other things, repeated his defamatory statements about Ms. Carroll,” she said. “We learned about that press conference later that evening, promptly prepared a video and transcript of the portion we intended to put into evidence, and sent the video and transcript to Defendant’s counsel.”

Kaplan quoted Trump from the press conference as stating: “The witness today, the person I never knew, I never had anything to do with, it’s a totally rigged deal, this whole thing is rigged—election interference. But, this is a person I have no idea—until this happened obviously—I have no idea who she was, and nor could I care less. It’s a rigged deal, it’s a made-up, fabricated story.”

On January 19, Trump’s lawyer, Alina Habba, objected to a video of Trump’s comments being shown to the jury, Kaplan noted.

Habba is objecting under the rule of completeness, under which a portion of evidence must be viewed in its full context.

Habba later informed Kaplan that she wanted two other portions of Trump’s press conference included for completeness.

They include Trump criticizing Carroll’s evidence that she bought either a rifle or a handgun to deal with threats after her claim against Trump.

“She didn’t really explain which, she might have both because she said she bought rifle bullets so—and it’s totally unlicensed, so I assume that’s a problem,” Trump states in that portion of the press conference.

He adds: “But the judge was protecting her, he didn’t want to go there, ‘we don’t
want to go there, we don’t want to hear’—if that were me, it would be a different story.”

In Saturday’s filing, Kaplan wrote that Habba’s requested additions aren’t necessary and that Trump’s press conference comments about Carroll inventing the allegations should be put to the jury “without the additions proposed by Defendant.”

Kaplan also told the judge that she will complete her case on Monday before the trial goes into defense evidence.