Following his recent success in the New Hampshire GOP’s presidential primary, Donald Trump returned to a Manhattan federal courthouse for a civil defamation trial. The trial revolves around Trump’s 2019 comments about E. Jean Carroll, who accused him of sexual assault. Trump briefly testified, affirming his denial of Carroll’s allegations. The trial is nearing its end, with closing arguments scheduled for Friday.
Trump’s decision to testify appeared strategic, possibly aimed at portraying himself as a victim of a conspiracy. During his appearance, he reiterated his denial of meeting Carroll and accused her of making false accusations. However, the trial’s focus is on defamation, as Carroll seeks at least $10 million in damages.
Trump’s legal team sought to challenge Carroll’s safety concerns by highlighting text messages where she expressed no security worries. They also attempted to undermine her credibility by referencing text messages from a friend who previously testified on Carroll’s behalf.
Carroll’s attorneys played videos for the jury, including excerpts from Trump’s recent media appearances and depositions. The videos showcased Trump’s statements about his wealth and his disparagement of Carroll. The trial, marked by its political undertones, adds another layer to Trump’s legal challenges and his potential return to the presidential race.
As the trial nears its conclusion, the jury will soon deliberate on the defamation claims, further shaping the legal landscape for both Trump and Carroll.