E Jean Carroll trial judge orders Trump to stop ‘entirely inappropriate’ Truth Social posts

Judge says Trump ‘may or may not be tampering with a new source of potential liability’

Gustaf Kilander,Bevan Hurley
Thursday 27 April 2023 11:05 BST
Related video: Trial Opens in E. Jean Carroll’s Rape Lawsuit Against Trump

The judge in the civil rape trial between Donald Trump and E Jean Carroll has demanded that the former president stop posting on Truth Social after he broke his silence on the court proceedings in a furious rant.

The former president took to Truth Social on Wednesday morning ahead of the first day of testimony in the bombshell case pitting him against Ms Carroll, who accused Mr Trump of raping her in a Bergdorf Goodman department store dressing room in the 1990s.

In a pair of posts, he branded the case a “witch hunt” as he made a misleading suggestion about key evidence in the case: the dress Ms Carroll was wearing on the day of the alleged rape.

“The E. Jean Carroll case, Ms. Bergdorf Goodman, is a made up SCAM,” Mr Trump wrote. “Her lawyer is a political operative, financed by a big political donor that they said didn’t exist, only to get caught lying about that.”

“Just look at her CNN interview before & after the commercial break - Like a different person. She said there was a dress, using the ol’ Monica Lewinsky ‘stuff’, then she didn’t want to produce it. The dress should be allowed to be part of the case. This is a fraudulent & false story--Witch Hunt!”

In the second post, Mr Trump went on to claim that Ms Carroll and her attorneys “got caught lying! The Miss Bergdorf Goodman case is financed by a big political donor that they tried to hide”.

“Does anybody believe that I would take a then almost 60 year old woman that I didn’t know, from the front door of a very crowded department store, (with me being very well known, to put it mildly!), into a tiny dressing room, and …. her,” he wrote. “She didn’t scream? There are no witnesses? Nobody saw this? She never made a police complaint? If I was seen there with a woman-BIG PRESS. SCAM!”

Mr Trump’s Truth Social posts were quickly brought into the court proceedings.

According to Adam Klasfeld of Law & Crime, Ms Carroll’s lawyer argued that Mr Trump’s posts violated two court orders, those ordering participants not to discuss the attorneys or the issue of the DNA sample.

Mr Trump’s initial post misleadingly suggests that Ms Carroll’s attorneys did not want to enter the dress she was wearing on the day of the alleged rape into evidence.

In reality, Ms Carroll’s legal team tried for three years to obtain Mr Trump’s DNA sample to compare it with stains on the dress.

After refusing to provide a sample, Mr Trump’s attorneys then made an offer to do so earlier this year - but only after the deadline to litigate concerns over evidence had passed. Judge Lewis Kaplan rejected the offer because reopening the DNA issue would delay the trial.

Judge Kaplan addressed that issue in discussing the Truth Social posts on Wednesday, asking Mr Trump’s lawyer Joe Tacopina: “For three years [Mr Trump] refused to give a DNA sample, and now he wants it in the case?”

The judge then called Mr Trump’s Truth Social comments “entirely inappropriate”.

Mr Tacopina responded that he would “try to address that with my client” and that he would ask Mr Trump to “refrain from any further posts regarding this case”.

The judge responded, “Well, I hope you’re more successful,” and added that Mr Trump “may or may not be tampering with a new source of potential liability. And I think you know what I mean”.

The civil trial stems from Ms Carroll claiming that Mr Trump raped her in a dressing room almost 30 years ago.

She placed the incident in either late 1995 or early 1996 when the future president was married to Marla Maples.

Ms Carroll, then a magazine feature writer and TV host, bumped into Mr Trump in the upmarket New York department store Bergdorf Goodman.

As Ms Carroll wrote in her 2019 memoir What Do We Need Men For?, he recognised her as “that advice lady”. She knew him as “that real-estate tycoon”.

Mr Trump supposedly told her that he was there to buy a gift for “a girl”, and asked for help to choose an appropriate item.

The pair made their way to the lingerie section, where Mr Trump suggested that she try on a lace bodysuit.

She claims she jokingly said that he should try it on instead.

As they reached the dressing rooms, Ms Carroll alleges that Mr Trump shoved her against a wall, put his hands underneath her dress and pulled down her tights.

He then unzipped his pants, and “forcing his fingers around my private area, thrusts his penis halfway — or completely, I’m not certain — inside me”, she wrote.

A “colossal struggle” ensued, she said, and Ms Carroll eventually pushed him away and ran out of the dressing room. The episode was over in under three minutes, she wrote.

After the allegations were first made in a book excerpt in New York magazine in June 2019, Mr Trump angrily denied it.

“I’ve never met this person in my life. She is trying to sell a new book — that should indicate her motivation. It should be sold in the fiction section,” he said in an official White House statement that month.

Then days later in an interview in the Oval Office with The Hill, Mr Trump went even further.

“I’ll say it with great respect: Number one, she’s not my type. Number two, it never happened. It never happened, OK?”

Ms Carroll then filed a defamation lawsuit against Mr Trump alleging he had damaged her reputation, substantially harmed her professionally, and caused emotional pain.

Months later, the Department of Justice intervened and transferred the case to federal court, arguing that he was immune from prosecution as president at the time of the initial defamation.

But the federal court disagreed with the position of the DoJ and allowed discovery in the case to continue.

And when the former president failed to have the case dismissed last October, he took to Truth Social to again unleash his denial, and unwittingly at the same time allowed Ms Carroll to file the new defamation claim.

In 2022, New York passed the Adult Survivors Act which allowed adult sexual assault survivors one year to sue their alleged abusers.

Ms Carroll filed a second lawsuit against Mr Trump for rape and for additional alleged defamatory statements made by him in October 2022 where he called her a “complete con job”. It is this second case for which court proceedings began on 25 April.

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