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Trump due to testify as E Jean Carroll trial resumes

Donald Trump may face the writer E Jean Carroll in open court, to convince jurors he should not pay her any damages despite being liable for having defamed and sexually abused her.

Testimony resumed in federal court in Manhattan after a week off, with lawyers for Ms Carroll, a former Elle magazine advice columnist, expected to wrap up their case.

Mr Trump looked on as former Elle Editor-in-Chief Robbie Myers began testifying on Ms Carroll’s behalf.

The former president could testify in his own defence later.

Ms Carroll, 80, is suing over Mr Trump’s June 2019 denials that he raped her in the mid-1990s in a Bergdorf Goodman department store dressing room in Manhattan.

She is seeking at least $10million (€9.2 m).

Mr Trump was ordered to pay Ms Carroll $5million last May (file image)

Mr Trump, 77, has consistently denied wrongdoing, claiming he had not known Ms Carroll despite photos showing them together and has accused her of making up the assault to boost sales of her memoir.

He filed dozens of social media posts related to the case overnight to his Truth Social platform, maintaining that he had never heard of or touched Ms Carroll and that her case was “Another HOAX.”

The trial has become an element of Mr Trump’s third White House run, with the Republican frontrunner shuttling between the courtroom and campaign stops, while criticising Ms Carroll, the judge and the judicial process online and at press conferences.

Last May, another jury ordered Mr Trump to pay Ms Carroll $5million (€4.6 million) after he denied her rape claim in October 2022.

US District Judge Lewis Kaplan, who has presided at both trials, has ruled that the first trial established that Mr Trump defamed and sexually abused Ms Carroll.

The only issues for the nine jurors in the current trial is how much money Mr Trump should pay Ms Carroll, if any, for damaging her reputation and how much, if any, he should pay as punishment and to dissuade him from defaming her again.

A damages expert testified on Ms Carroll’s behalf that the damage to her reputation could be as high as $12.1 million (€12.5m).

Mr Trump’s legal team has said damages should be nominal or zero and that Ms Carroll has gained more than whatever she might have lost.

Judge Kaplan last week warned Mr Trump not to use the courtroom to air political grievances, after one of Ms Carroll’s lawyers complained that jurors might have overheard Mr Trump calling the case a “witch hunt” and “con job.”

The judge has 29 years of experience and is known for his no-nonsense approach and for expressing impatience with lawyers and witnesses who do not follow his instructions.

Judge Kaplan could interrupt or shut down Mr Trump’s testimony or remove him from the courtroom, if Mr Trump persisted in speaking out of turn or digressed from the issues the jury will consider.

On 11 January, when another judge asked Mr Trump if he could stick to the facts if allowed to give a closing statement in the New York attorney general’s civil fraud case against him, Mr Trump responded by attacking the judge and proclaiming the case a politically inspired sham.

Ms Carroll’s lawyers have warned that Mr Trump might try to “sow chaos” if he testified, because his defiance might aid him politically.

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