Donald Trump Demands New Trial: Reduction $83.3 Million Verdict in E. Jean Carroll Defamation Lawsuit

Former President Donald Trump requests a decrease in the $83.3 million jury verdict or a new trial in E. Jean Carroll's defamation lawsuit. Trump's attorneys argue Judge Lewis Kaplan's restrictions on Trump's testimony influenced the verdict.

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Donal Trump Demands New Trial: Former President Donald Trump has asked the court supervising E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit against him to dramatically decrease the $83.3 million jury verdict or allow a new trial.

Trump claimed that Judge Lewis Kaplan wrongfully restricted him from defending himself during his short testimony, necessitating a fresh trial.

In court documents Tuesday, Trump’s attorneys said Kaplan erred when he prevented Trump from testifying about “his own state of mind” and offered a “erroneous jury instruction on the definition of common-law malice.” Trump’s attorneys said the jury should have been informed they needed to determine that Trump’s “sole, exclusive desire to harm” Carroll.

“This Court’s erroneous decision to dramatically limit the scope of President Trump’s testimony almost certainly influenced the jury’s verdict, and thus a new trial is warranted,” the attorney general’s office stated.

Before the trial started, Kaplan limited Trump’s evidence, stating that he could not deny raping Carroll or uttering defamatory comments until a separate jury had already rendered a verdict in 2023. The court ordered the counsel to preview what questions Trump will be asked and what his responses would be. In the end, Trump answered just a few questions.

The fresh legal move comes as Trump has asked Kaplan for additional time to deposit the bond, which is due soon. Trump requested that the court grant him 30 days after the judge decides on post-trial briefs. Carroll disputed the proposal, claiming that Trump has not presented any proof that he can afford the payment. The judge is considering the request.

In the most recent court move, Trump’s lawyers focused on his testimony and one conversation in which Trump was questioned by his lawyer, “Did you ever instruct anyone to hurt Ms. Carroll in your statements?”

Donald Trump said, “No.” I just wanted to protect myself, my family, and, frankly, the administration.”

Carroll’s counsel protested, and the court took out what Trump said following “no.”

“This was error, and it was prejudicial,” Trump’s attorneys said.

Trump’s lawyers echoed claims made throughout the trial that Carroll failed to link Trump’s words about her to the negative and harassing communications she got after speaking out about being sexually assaulted by Trump in the mid-1990s. The judge had already dismissed such argument.

Trump’s attorneys also claimed that the jury judgment was excessive and should be decreased in comparison to comparable rulings.

The $7.3 million ordered for compensatory damages is “significantly reduced” to $125,000 or less, they declared, since her injury was “garden variety.”

Carroll’s $11 million judgment to rehabilitate her image should be lowered, they claimed, since it was “excessive” when compared to previous verdicts, such as the $1.7 million in reputation repair given to Carroll by a separate jury in 2023.

Trump’s attorneys argued that the $65 million in punitive penalties is “grossly excessive” and should be lowered to a one-to-one ratio with compensatory damages.

Carroll challenged Trump’s effort to reduce the judgments, calling one of his grounds “laughable” and claiming that evidence proved that Trump’s defamation of Carroll worsened after the 2023 ruling as he continued to make defamatory remarks.

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