Major blow to Trump as judge limits second E Jean Carroll trial to damages

Lewis Kaplan says jury in first trial has ‘decided issues common to both cases’ and that second trial will only concern damages

Donald Trump’s upcoming civil trial over comments made by writer E Jean Carroll regarding her allegation of sexual assault will focus on how much more he has to pay. A judge has ruled that Trump’s comments were libelous, stating that the jury considered issues common to both cases, including whether Trump falsely accused Carroll of fabricating her sexual assault charge or acted with reckless disregard for the truth. The trial is the second in the case, following Trump’s first conviction for defamation and sexual abuse in the first trial earlier this year.

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The trial will focus on remarks made in 2019, after Carroll first publicly claimed he attacked her in a luxury department store dressing room. The first trial focused on the sexual assault allegation itself and whether more recent Trump comments were defamatory. The trial will be limited to damages for the original defamatory statements made by Trump. Trump is seeking to delay the trial, which is scheduled to clash with the start of the Republican presidential primary. The trial is expected to be overturned, and accountability is expected to flood in in both civil and criminal cases.

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