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Eric Trump threatened with potential charges over tweet about father’s civil rape trial

‘There are some relevant US statutes here, and somebody on your side ought to be thinking about them’

Namita Singh
Thursday 27 April 2023 12:44 BST
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E Jean Carroll is ‘sick’ of women not being listened to

Eric Trump has been warned that he could be hit with charges if he continues to post comments on social media about E Jean Carroll’s civil rape trial against his father.

Donald Trump’s son took to Twitter this week to weigh in on the case currently playing out in a Manhattan court, where magazine columnist Ms Carroll is suing the former president for rape and defamation.

In the post, Eric fumed that Ms Carroll’s trial was being funded by LinkedIn cofounder and Democratic donor Reid Hoffman “out of pure hatred, spite or fear of a formidable candidate”.

He branded Mr Hoffman’s involvement “an embarrassment to our country, should be illegal and tells you everything you need to know about the case in hand....”

In court on Wednesday, Ms Carroll’s attorney brought up Eric’s tweet after the judge had already warned Mr Trump’s attorney Joe Tacopina about his client posting about the case online.

The judge had just ruled that Mr Hoffman’s financing of Ms Carroll’s case could not be used as evidence in the trial.

Judge Lewis Kaplan was not amused by Eric’s post, telling Mr Tacopina that such comments needed to stop – or both Eric and his father could find themselves in hot water.

“I said something this morning about your client perhaps now sailing in harm’s way, conceivably with his son, if what I just heard is true,” he said.

“If I were in your shoes, I’d be having a conversation with your client,” he said, later adding that “there are some relevant United States statutes here and somebody on your side ought to be thinking about them”.

Eric’s tweet appears to have been deleted – but several social media users had already screenshotted his comments.

The warning to Eric came after the judge had already issued a warning to his father over comments he made on Truth Social on Wednesday morning about the case.

The former president took to Truth Social about an hour before Wednesday’s testimony began and questioned how anyone could believe he – "being very well known, to put it mildly!" – could have raped Ms Carroll.

"She didn’t scream?" Mr Trump wrote. "There are no witnesses? Nobody saw this?"

Eric Trump appears to have deleted his tweet (Twitter)

The posts led Judge Kaplan to tell Mr Trump’s legal team, outside the jury’s presence, that the former president appeared to be "endeavoring, certainly, to speak to his quote-unquote public" and to the jury about matters that have "no business being spoken about”.

The judge also said that the former president could be "tampering with a new source of liability" if he continued. He called Mr Trump’s post terming the case “a made-up scam” a “public statement that, on the face of it, seems entirely inappropriate”.

The comments came as the former advice columnist took the stand in her civil rape trial against Mr Trump and fought back tears as she described the alleged assault in horrifying detail.

She began her testimony with a simple declaration: “I’m here because Donald Trump raped me”.

The former Elle columnist said she and Mr Trump were shopping around the department store at the time when he asked her to try on a piece of lingerie that he was looking to purchase – a blue bodysuit.

“He was having a good time, and so was I,” Ms Carroll said, adding that the two were harmlessly flirting with one another.

As the two reached the dressing room, Ms Carroll said Mr Trump “shut the door and shoved me up against the wall”.

“I was confused. I laughed,” Ms Carroll said.

She said she pushed Mr Trump back but he “thurst” her into the wall again.

From there, Ms Carroll described how Mr Trump pulled down her tights and inserted his fingers into her vagina.

“It was extremely painful,” Ms Carroll recalled emotionally. “It was a horrible feeling. He put his hand inside me and curled his finger. As I sit here today, I can still feel it.”

When asked if she screamed for help or told Mr Trump to stop, Ms Carroll said, “I’m not a screamer. I’m a fighter”.

Ms Carroll alleges Mr Trump then inserted his penis and began to rape her.

“I wonder why I walked in there, to get in that situation... I’m proud to say I got out of there,” Ms Carroll said.

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